SBIR Phase I: Continuous Production of Crystalline Silicon Sheet (or wafer) for Solar Cell

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0945222
Agency Tracking Number: 0945222
Amount: $148,500.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: NM
Solitcitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
Industrial Learning Systems
4244 Yarmouth Drive, Allison Park, PA, 15101
Duns: 786729561
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Balaji Sukumar
 (408) 594-5463
Business Contact
 Balaji Sukumar
Title: PhD
Phone: (408) 594-5463
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to investigate the feasibility of a novel molten substrate fabricated from high-density liquids of metals/alloys and slags for producing high solar quality crystalline silicon wafer. In this innovative design a molten support system will be used to allow molten Silicon to float and solidify by cooling. Float silicon can then be continuously withdrawn as a crystalline sheet of highly textured Silicon upon solidification. One of the goals of the project is to develop mathematical models which can be used for scale-up and feasibility studies. These models can represent instability in solidification and crystallization front. The research will address the following important goals: a) planar solidification and mono-crystallization; b) testing of a slag layer in a novel three-component-three-layer process for the crystallization and purification of Silicon; c) process modeling. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the continuous production of single crystalline silicon wafers at reduced cost and with improved efficiency. The present solar technologies, some of them in advanced stage of development and commercialization, are capital-intensive and do not offer low cost per Watt-peak (WP). This project will show if the material produced has the properties needed to produce enhanced quality solar cells. Accomplishment of this multi-phase program for crystalline Silicon wafer productions would lower the cost and attract many first-time users to solar electricity, cater to the demands of the larger international market and further help accomplish the task of reducing carbon emission at a much faster rate.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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