•Improved thermal gradient control
•Improved initial nucleation and crystallization growth
•Improved “Monocast” process control
•Shorter firing cycles
•Reduced back-diffusion time
Controlling the crystal growth is of most importance to achieve large crystals and to minimize grain boundary defects. An excellent control of the crystallization process is only possible when the crucible system is responding fast to the firing parameters from crystallization furnaces. When using traditional insulating silica crucibles with heat conductivity typically 0,5 W/mK, the initial crystallization sites is difficult to control.
A Steuler Solar high performance crucible is having a heat conductivity of 12 W/mK, resulting in a new dimension of controlling the crystal growth. With increased super cooling, larger crystals can be achieved with improved control of initial nucleation sites. This is of special importance in developing the new” Monocast” seed crystal technology.
Higher cooling rates also results in reduced firing cycles and thereby increased furnace capacity. When ingot cooling is faster, the negative effects of metal back diffusion from top of ingot will be reduced.