Laser Irradiation to Reduce Si Consumption in the Fabrication of Si Powder-Based Structures

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si powder is a particle-sized, amorphous silicon material. It is a common ingredient in pyrotechnic compositions, ignition sources and delay charges. It is also used in the manufacture of alloys. Tech grade si powder typically has a size range of 0–100 mm and is collected by crushing, milling and classifying silicon material. The particles are screened and sized to meet the application requirements of different applications.

A typical process for producing si powder starts by exposing raw, high purity Si to extreme heat and pressure. Then, the resulting Si atoms are sorted and separated by chemical methods. The si particles are gathered and cleaned, which is a complex and time-consuming procedure. The purification of the powder involves sublimation, distillation or recrystallization methods.

The powder can be bonded using organic or inorganic materials to form Si briquettes for use in the PV industry. These briquettes can be used to fabricate pc-Si wafers and other advanced semiconductor structures using wire sawing and e-beam deposition techniques. However, a significant consumption of Si is still required in the fabrication process.

Recently, laser irradiation has been proposed as a potential approach for reducing Si consumption in the fabrication of pc-Si wafers. In this article, pc-Si wafers fabricated by wire sawing hot-pressed Si ingots and si powder-based structures processed by e-beam deposition have been subjected to laser irradiation in order to clarify their typical trends of structural modifications. Moreover, the microstructure of the irradiated samples has been analysed by cross-sectional SEM and top-view EBSD measurements. The results show that the porosity of the irradiated briquette is significantly reduced and oxygen is easily spread out within the outer layer, which results in a significant increase in the compressive strength.