1366 Technologies makes thin wafers with thick border
1366 Technologies demonstrates capabilities of its Direct Wafer process to grow a 3D wafer (Photo: Business Wire)
US silicon wafers maker 1366 Technologies Inc has grown a three dimensional (3D) wafer, or a thin wafer with a thick border, with its proprietary Direct Wafer process.
The company said today that the innovation further reduces the amount of silicon required for each wafer without sacrificing strength, durability or performance. "The 3D wafer feature allows us to meet the industry’s anticipated need for thinner wafers without compromising existing standards or asking manufacturers to abandon their existing manufacturing lines," said chief executive Frank van Mierlo.
The company says its Direct Wafer process can cut silicon consumption to about 1.5 g per Watt, while creating a thin wafer that will not break during cell and module manufacturing. This is due to the technology’s ability to locally-control wafer thickness and provide standard thickness in stress-critical areas such as wafer perimeter or ribs where busbar soldering will occur, while reducing thickness for the remainder of the wafer.
1366's Direct Wafer technology, an alternative to traditional ingot-based wafer production technologies, makes wafers in a single step, pulling them directly from molten silicon.
The 3D wafer advancement is impossible with ingot-based technologies, the company said.