Product Briefing Outline: Morgan Technical Ceramics is offering its fused silica rollers for use in solar energy applications from its manufacturing site in Fairfield, New Jersey, USA. Traditionally used for handling sheet glass for automobiles, appliances and architectural applications, fused silica rollers are now being used in the manufacture of solar cells and modules. Their mechanical properties and special surface quality make them ideal for use in both diffusion and thin-film processing of solar panels.
Problem: Retaining glass panel flatness during deposition processes limits yield impact and throughput. Downtime and replacement costs can also ensue if the rollers are subject to erosion from cleaning acids.
Solution: The thermal stability of silica is very high; it has a coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of <1 x 10-6/°C – lower than any other ceramic material, according to the company. This low CTE combined with its chemical compatibility with glass ensures the glass panels remain flat during the manufacturing process. The rollers are also used to move silicon wafers through the acid doping process where corrosive acid and high temperatures are required. The thin silicon wafers maintain their shape due to the low coefficient of thermal expansion and chemical resistance of the fused silica rollers.
Applications: The fused silica rollers move hot glass panels through the deposition process.
Platform: The rollers are available in a wide variety of standard dimensions, with outer diameters ranging from 15 to 110mm, and in lengths ranging from 305 to 4100mm. Custom designs and dimensions are also offered.
Availability: Currently available.