Bedford, MA, United States
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Semi-conductor wafers with thin and thicker regions at controlled locations may be for Photovoltaics. The interior may be less than 180 microns or thinner, to 50 microns, with a thicker portion, at 180-250 microns. Thin wafers have higher efficiency. A thicker perimeter provides handling strength. Thicker stripes, landings and islands are for metallization coupling. Wafers may be made directly from a melt upon a template with regions of different heat extraction propensity arranged to correspond to locations of relative thicknesses. Interstitial oxygen is less than 610^(17 )atoms/cc, preferably less than 210^(17), total oxygen less than 8.7510^(17 )atoms/cc, preferably less than 5.2510^(17). Thicker regions form adjacent template regions having relatively higher heat extraction propensity; thinner regions adjacent regions with lesser extraction propensity. Thicker template regions have higher extraction propensity. Functional materials upon the template also have differing extraction propensities.


Semi-conductor wafers with thin and thicker regions at controlled locations may be for Photovoltaics. The interior may be less than 180 microns or thinner, to 50 microns, with a thicker portion, at 180 - 250 microns. Thin wafers have higher efficiency. A thicker perimeter provides handling strength. Thicker stripes, landings and islands are for metallization coupling. Wafers may be made directly from a melt upon a template with regions of different heat extraction propensity arranged to correspond to locations of relative thicknesses. Interstitial oxygen is less than 6 x 1017 atoms/cc, preferably less than 2 x 1017, total oxygen less than 8. 75 x 1017 atoms/cc, preferably less than 5. 25 x 1017. Thicker regions form adjacent template regions having relatively higher heat extraction propensity; thinner regions adjacent regions with lesser extraction propensity. Thicker template regions have higher extraction propensity. Functional materials upon the template also have differing extraction propensities.


Patent
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 1366 Technologies | Date: 2014-01-16

Patterned substrates for photovoltaic and other uses are made by pressing a flexible stamp upon a thin layer of resist material, which covers a substrate, such as a wafer. The resist changes phase or becomes flowable, flowing away from locations of impression, revealing the substrate, which is subjected to some shaping process. A typical substrate is silicon, and a typical resist is a wax. Workpiece textures include extended grooves, discrete, spaced apart pits, and combinations and intermediates thereof. Platen or rotary patterning apparatus may be used. Rough and irregular workpiece substrates may be accommodated by extended stamp elements. Resist may be applied first to the workpiece, the stamp, or substantially simultaneously, in discrete locations, or over the entire surface of either. The resist dewets the substrate completely where desired.


A method for imparting a pattern to a flowable resist material on a substrate entails providing a resist layer so thin that during a stamp wedging process, the resist never completely fills the space between the substrate and the bottom surface of a stamp between wedge protrusions, leaving gap everywhere therebetween. A gap remains between the resist and the extended surface of the stamp. If the resist layer as deposited is somewhat thicker than the targeted amount, it will simply result in a smaller gap between resist and tool. The presence of a continuous gap assures that no pressure builds under the stamp. Thus, the force on the protrusions i determined only by the pressure above the stamp and is well controlled, resulting in well-controlled hole sizes. The gap prevents resist from being pumped entirely out of any one region, and thus prevents any regions from being uncovered of resist. The stamp can be pulsed in its contact with the substrate, repeatedly deforming the indenting protrusions. Several pulses clears away any scum layer better than does a single press, as measured by an etch test comparison of the degree to which a normal etch for a normal duration etches away substrate material. A method for imparting a pattern to a flowable resist material on a substrate entails providing a resist layer so thin that during a stamp wedging process, the resist never completely fills the space between the substrate and the bottom surface of a stamp between wedge protrusions, leaving a gap everywhere therebetween. A gap remains between the resist and the extended surface of the stamp.


Processes increase light absorption into silicon wafers by selectively changing the reflective properties of the bottom portions of light trapping cavity features. Modification of light trapping features includes: deepening the bottom portion, increasing the curvature of the bottom portion, and roughening the bottom portion, all accomplished through etching. Modification may also be by the selective addition of material at the bottom of cavity features. Different types of features in the same wafers may be treated differently. Some may receive a treatment that improves light trapping while another is deliberately excluded from such treatment. Some may be deepened, some roughened, some both. No alignment is needed to achieve this selectively. The masking step achieves self-alignment to previously created light trapping features due to softening and deformation in place.


A pressure differential is applied across a mold sheet and a semiconductor (e.g. silicon) wafer (e.g. for solar cell) is formed thereon. Relaxation of the pressure differential allows release of the wafer. The mold sheet may be cooler than the melt. Heat is extracted almost exclusively through the thickness of the forming wafer. The liquid and solid interface is substantially parallel to the mold sheet. The temperature of the solidifying body is substantially uniform across its width, resulting in low stresses and dislocation density and higher crystallographic quality. The mold sheet must allow flow of gas through it. The melt can be introduced to the sheet by: full area contact with the top of a melt; traversing a partial area contact of melt with the mold sheet, whether horizontal or vertical, or in between; and by dipping the mold into a melt. The grain size can be controlled by many means.


A pressure differential can be applied across a mold sheet and a semiconductor (e.g. silicon) wafer (e.g. for solar cell) is formed thereon. Relaxation of the pressure differential can allow release of the wafer. The mold sheet may be cooler than the melt. Heat is extracted through the thickness of the forming wafer. The temperature of the solidifying body is substantially uniform across its width, resulting in low stresses and dislocation density and higher crystallographic quality. The mold sheet can allow flow of gas through it. The melt can be introduced to the sheet by: full area contact with the top of a melt; traversing a partial area contact of melt with the mold sheet, whether horizontal or vertical, or in between; and by dipping the mold into a melt. The grain size can be controlled by many means.


A workpiece is transported using a porous belt, which belt delivers a workpiece to a chuck, upon which the workpiece is held by vacuum. The belt can be porous PTFE. A flexible stamp is preheated, before it is applied to a workpiece, by drawing the stamp toward a heated plate, for instance by vacuum.


Patent
1366 Technologies | Date: 2012-08-22

Acid etch compositions for etching multicrystalline silicon substrates are disclosed which may include hydrofluoric acid, an oxidizer, an acid diluent, and soluble silicon. The soluble silicon may be hexafluorosilicic acid or ammonium fluorosilicate. Silicon substrates patterned with organic resist may be used with the acid etch compositions for selective silicon patterning for solar cell applications.


The present inventions relate to the formation of a thin polymer film on a substrate. Apparatus is described for transforming a solid polymer resist into an aerosol of small particles, electrostatically charging and depositing the particles onto a substrate, and flowing the particles into a continuous layer. Apparatus is further described for transforming solid resist into an aerosol of small particles by heating the resist to form a low viscosity liquid such as is compatible with nebulization and applying the techniques of jet or impact nebulization and aerosol particle sizing to form the aerosol. A method is further described of using ionized gas to confer charge onto the aerosol particles and using a progression of charging devices establish an electric field directing the flow of charged particles to the substrate. The progression of charging devices and associated apparatus results in high collection efficiency for the aerosol particles.

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