Using its proprietary PolyMax kerf-free wafering technology, Silicon Genesis said that it has produced the first-ever 20-µm-thick solar-cell “foils.” The company characterizes the robust, flexible 125-mm-square monocrystalline silicon substrates as neither a thin-film nor a wafer, given the foils’ unique form factor and physical attributes.
The 20-µm-thick foil combines the advantages of the low polysilicon utilization of thin-film PV with the high-efficiency potential of mono c-Si, according to SiGen. PV. The company believes that the foil will extend the reach of conventional silicon PV absorber technology well into the future.
The mono c-Si foil is the result of the continuous development of SiGen’s recently demonstrated pilot-line production of full-size wafers with thicknesses of 150 and 50 µm. These pilot capabilities are now being used for development of high-volume manufacturing equipment.
“The high efficiency potential of our 20-µm c-Si foil technology creates new opportunities for the solar PV industry,” stated Francois Henley, SiGen CEO. “The flexibility of the foils allows for development of diverse applications such as building-integrated PV and flexible PV. This strengthens my belief that thin-film technology adoption will be limited by the cost and performance advantages of ultrathin PolyMax technology.”