Upcoming Focus Metrology and Ceramics for Solar Cells

Posted: March 5, 2014 by mattmargolis24 in My Publications, Uncategorized
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Solar Cell Metrology how Apple and GTAT are focused on some great technology. GT currently has job postings at Apple’s Mesa, AZ sapphire plant related to Metrology and it could have to do with using solar cells to illuminate a screen or something bigger? GT’s metrology role might be digging deep into ” quantum efficiency (QE) of the semiconductor solar-cells”.

GT’s Ceramic Patent This patent was granted in 2012 and it allows for for elimination of slicing silicon wafers all together but to have them formed from thin luminae (thin layer) if semiconductor. The semiconductor can be exfoliated using Hyperion and reused. Wafer processing makes up 60% of the current silicon wafer cost per watt.

Key benefits on invention:

Using the methods of Sivaram et al., photovoltaic cells, rather than being formed from sliced wafers, are formed of thin semiconductor laminae without wasting silicon through kerf loss or by fabrication of an unnecessarily thick cell, thus reducing cost. The same donor wafer can be reused to form multiple laminae, further reducing cost, and may be resold after exfoliation of multiple laminae for some other use.


The invention relates to a method to form a ceramic receiver element adhered to a thin lamina. The structure is suitable for fabrication of devices, including photovoltaic devices.

Fabrication of devices including semiconductor material, including photovoltaic cells, may expose the semiconductor material and any supporting element to relatively high temperatures. Thus there is a need for a supporting element that can readily tolerate high temperature.

The present invention is defined by the following claims, and nothing in this section should be taken as a limitation on those claims. In general, the invention is directed to a method to form a ceramic receiver element adhered to a thin semiconductor lamina.

~The Obscure Analyst


  1. George Jones says:

    How many laminae may be made before the donor wafer is no longer available for further laminae? Must the donor wafer be sold, or can it be polished/other and reused for more laminae? If the latter, what is the cost?
    Also, doesn’t this same diminishing donor capability also apply to Hyperion? How many laminae may be lifted off the sapphire wafer through ion implantation before the wafer must be prepped/sold? Nice work Sherlock.


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