Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
Production of solar silicon. Economic exploitation of solar energy using solar cells made of crystalline silicon is dependent upon a considerable drop in the cost of the silicon raw material which is nowadays produced by standard methods of the semiconductor industry. New procedures for producing less expensive solar silicon can be divided into four groups characterized by different physico-chemical purification techniques: (1) reduction of volatile Si-H-Cl compounds; (2) purification of technical grade silicon (98-99%); (3) reduction of hexafluorosilicates; (4) reduction of silicon dioxide. Among the ten solar silicon processes under discussion, the purification of technical grade silicon and the carbothermal reduction of silicon dioxide have the greatest scope for cost reduction; however, it remains to be established whether the necessary purity can be achieved on an industrial scale.
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