1366 Technologies has unveiled the first of a series of R&D achievements using its proprietaryDirect Waferprocess to grow a three dimensional wafer or a thin wafer with a thick border, an advancement, deemed impossible with conventional ingot-based production technologies.

To decrease the amount of silicon used by photovoltaic wafers, manufacturers have long pursued methods to reduce wafer thickness.

While wire sawing can be used to produce wafers thinner than the standard 180-200 micron thickness, these thin wafers have reduced mechanical integrity and break during cell fabrication, electrical interconnection and encapsulation in modules.

Direct Wafer production of thin wafers with thick border.

1366’s Direct Wafer technology is a transformative manufacturing process that offers significant advantages over traditional ingot-based wafer production technologies, including the ability to introduce new wafer features that reduce cost and increase efficiency.

The process makes wafers in a single step, pulling them directly from molten silicon instead of today’s multi-step, energyand capital-intensive approach, resulting in significant wafer production cost savings.