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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:42 pm

Solar tech thread?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:45 pm

So similar to how there's a battery tech thread I thought maybe one for solar tech would be appropriate?

Was just reading this article I got off of Slashdot about a new manufacturing technique for solar that manages just 40 cents per watt.

The process begins in a vacuum chamber, where a high-energy beam of hydrogen ions bombards three-millimeter-thick disks of crystalline silicon. The ions accumulate at a precise depth of 20 micrometers, which is controlled by the voltage of the beam. Once enough ions accumulate, a robotic arm quickly removes the wafers, which are then placed inside a furnace, where the ions in the silicon form microscopic bubbles of hydrogen gas that expand, creating tiny fractures within the silicon wafer and causing a 20-micrometer-thick layer of silicon to flake off.

Basically they reduce waste and simplify wafer production by using a spalling technique instead of saws (where you'd lose the kerf width). Pretty interesting!

Edit: Looks like I'm a little late :lol:

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