What is Wafer in PV?


A solar wafer is a semiconductor working as a substrate for microeconomic devices to fabricate integrated circuits in photovoltaics (PV) to manufacture solar cells, also popularly known as a Silicon wafer. This wafer is important because it is used in the production of photovoltaic systems. These systems convert sunlight energy into electrical energy.

In the solar application, it is considered a circular disk made up of high-quality silicon material. Wafers are made to have a rough surface by creating textures for efficient functioning by cleaning the particles. Solar batteries comprise silicon semiconductors, compound semiconductors, and an organic compound group. The solar battery has both crystal and non-crystal battery types.

Importance of Silicon Wafer

Silicon is one of the most abundantly found elements on Earth. For manufacturing electronic devices cost-effectively, silicon wafers are usually used, which is well suited for mass production due to their high scalability properties. The following mentioned are the importance of silicon wafers for various purposes:

1. Used as Semiconductors

Silicon wafers act as a main element of semiconductors in the manufacturing process of any integrated circuit because of the properties of extreme mobility at room temperature and high temperature that they offer. The integrated circuit is basically an assembly of electronic parts working together to perform a particular function. Millions of miniature active and passive devices such as diodes, transistors, resistors, and capacitors can be fitted inside an integrated circuit.

2. Working on Electronic Gadgets

Wafer has the potential to act as a substratum for different electronic gadgets along with performing the function of a semiconductor. It controls the electrical flow between the microscopic components of the integrated circuits inside various electronic devices, including smartphones, computers, and tire pressure sensor systems. 

Size of Wafers

The size of the wafers has an impact on the efficient working of module performance. It is found that the larger the size of the wafer is, the better performance of the module is expected. Generally, the sizes are categorized as follows:

  • M0: It is the traditionally used mono-crystalline wafer having a side length of 156 mm (about 6.14 in) side and a 200 mm (about 7.87 in) diameter ingot.
  • M1: Due to increasing the size of the silicon ingots, M0 was further divided into M1 and M2 where M1 wafers are cut from ingots of diameter 205 mm (about 8.07 in).
  • M2: M2 wafers are cut from ingots of diameter 210 mm (about 8.27 in). They have the advantage that almost no changes are required in the manufacturing line from M0 to M2 wafers, making the process of advancement easy and cheap.
  • M6 and M12: Nowadays, larger wafer sizes are used to obtain 400 W plus modules. The diameter of 166.75 mm (about 6.56 in) in M6 made it a very cost-effective method for more high-power PV modules. The side length of M12 is 210 mm (about 8.27 in).

Recommended: What is Solar Garden?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *