High Grade Si3N4 Powders from H.C. Starck are Preferred Materials for Solar Energy Applications

By H.c. Starck Gmbh, PRNE
Monday, August 30, 2010

GOSLAR, Germany, August 31, 2010 - H.C. Starck GmbH, Advanced Metal and Ceramic Powders (AMCP) high grade
Si3N4 powders continue to meet the purity requirements established by
ingot/wafer producers. As one of the top two suppliers qualified worldwide,
H.C. Starck is chosen for their renowned Si3N4 Grade M 11 HP powder for the
PV industry. An increasing number of manufacturers are opting for H.C. Starck
as their primary supplier for reasons of product quality and global market

    (Logo: photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090625/NE38551LOGO )
    (Logo: www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090625/NE38551LOGO )

High grade Si3N4 powders are essential for purity of silicon ingots.
Multicrystalline silicon ingots are produced by melting and solidification of
high purity silicon in fused silica crucible in dedicated furnaces. An
essential parameter leading to high quality wafers, the core part of any
solar cell, is the purity of silicon ingots.

The main concerns during solidification of multicrystalline silicon are
to avoid impurities entering the silicon and to minimize stresses created
during solidification. In the currently established production technology,
silica crucibles used for melting and crystallizing silicon are coated on
their inside surface with a Si3N4 based coating, which facilitates an easy
release of the ingot after finishing the production cycle.

A layer is sprayed on the crucible wall to prevent silicon/silica
reactions that would provoke cracks and inhibit diffusion of oxygen and
additional impurities from the crucible into the melt/solidified silicon
requiring high grade Si3N4 powders provided by H.C. Starck.

Learn more about the advantages of H.C. Starck's high grade Si3N4 powders
from their Surface Technology & Ceramics team. Visit them at the 25th EU PV
Solar Energy Conference, 6-10 Sept, Feria Valencia in Valencia, Spain - Level
2, Hall 2 Booth A39.

About H.C. Starck

The H.C. Starck Group is a leading global supplier of refractory metals,
technical ceramics, and conductive polymers, and serves growing industries
such as the electronics, chemicals, automotive, medical technology,
aerospace, energy technology, and environmental technology industries, as
well as mechanical engineering and tool manufacturers. H.C. Starck has its
own manufacturing facilities located in Europe, America, and Asia, and has
close to 3,000 employees worldwide.

H.C. Starck GmbH, Im Schleeke 78 - 91, 38642 Goslar, Germany; Dr. Thomas Schmidt, T +49-5321-751-3962, F +49-5321-751-4962; Michael Drost, +49-5321-751-3755, michael.drost at hcstarck.com; Public Relations: T: +49-5321-751-3230, F: +49-5321-751-4230

will not be displayed