Floating Silicon Method

A Revolutionary Breakthrough

Growing large single-crystal material is extremely challenging: the faster a crystal grows, the more likely it is that a large single crystal will destabilize to form many smaller crystals with undesirable defects.

As a result, traditional technologies grow large silicon ingots quite slowly, with state-of-the-art growth speeds achieving roughly only 1 to 1.5mm of growth per minute.

At Applied Materials, Peter Kellerman discovered a new technique enabling stable single-crystal growth at hyper-fast rates surpassing 250 mm/minute or 16 million atomic layers of perfect single crystal every second.

This new way of rapidly growing crystal is called the Floating Silicon Method (FSM)™.

Early investigation of FSM™ material has shown that this hyper-fast growth technique further enables some of the lowest defect densities and oxygen content ever commercialized in single-crystal silicon.

High throughput and superior electronic quality translate directly to unprecedented cost reductions and performance improvements that cascade throughout the manufacturing process.

Opening the Door for Next Generation Technologies

As the first technology to produce full-size single-crystal ribbons, the FSM process has the capability to deliver unprecedented functionality and control to manufacturers across many applications and industries.

FSM can uniquely produce 80 – 2000 µm thick ribbons independent of crystal growth rate, thereby allowing manufacturers the freedom to dial-in and select the ideal thickness for final device performance and economics.
As a continuous process, FSM yields material with tight and spatially uniform resistivity which eliminates the need for downstream binning and enables device performance optimized around predictable and specified material properties.
By directly producing clean material without any breakage-inducing surface damage, FSM equipment can incorporate downstream processes and be directly integrated into downstream facilities to further reduce cost.

Leading Edge leverages FSM’s flexibility and novel features to drive cost and performance for our customers. Please contact us if you have interest in having FSM maximize value for you.

The first technology to directly produce low-oxygen wafers for high-efficiency solar cells.

The Advantage of Floating Silicon Method

No Surface Damage

Produced wafers naturally have no surface damage.

Resistivity Control

Wafers exhibit tight resistivity control for both p-type and n-type.

Reduced Power Needs

30 percent of the power required compared to Cz technology.

Low Oxygen

Wafers exhibit extremely low oxygen content.

Clean Surface

No cleaning required before cell processing.

High Tolerance

Our single-crystal wafers have high tolerance edge quality.

Small Hot Zone

80 percent smaller hot zone than Cz technology.

Drop-in Geometry

Cz-equivalent edge and thickness profile.

A Single Step

A single step from poly to drop-in wafer, compared to seven steps in Cz methods.