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Pressure-Less Sintering of Silicon Bimodal Powder Compacts Under Controlled Atmosphere

  • : Lebrun, J-M1
  • : 1SIMaP
  • : PDF Download
  • : 2012


Pressure-less sintering of near net shape silicon wafers would be a competitive route for the processing of solar cells. However, photovoltaic applications require un-porous and large grain materials for good electronic properties.Sintering of silicon is restricted by significant grain coarsening, leading to unsuitable porous materials. In the presence of silica layer at the Si particle surfaces, two steps are clearly identified during sintering: (1) densification is favored through volume diffusion and (2) vapor transport dominates, leading to a controlled grain growth of larger particles to the expense of the smaller ones.In this work, silicon compactsare prepared by mixing powders of various particle sizes (various initial densities). A two-layer compact with different Si particle sizes is also co-sintered. Sintering experiments are conducted using suitable oxidizing atmosphere to monitor the stability of the silica layer as a route for the control of the microstructure and then electronic properties.

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