Low-cost ultrapure (>99.9999%) solar-grade Si by electrorefining

Xiaofei Han, Bin Zhou, Meng Tao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The current SiHCl3-based processes to produce ultrapure Si are one of the major bottlenecks to lower-cost wafer-Si solar cells. Molten-salt electrorefining of Si is an alternative process to ultrapure Si, with a significantly lower energy input of ∼15 kWh/kg. It is demonstrated that controlling the potential applied to the working electrode is critical in reducing impurity concentrations. A more positive potential on the working results in purer Si deposited on the counter electrode. With margin of error, the amount of Si deposited on the cathode is almost the same as the amount dissolved from the anode. A nonequilibrium factor which affects impurity concentrations is identified, i.e. contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication39th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2013
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781479932993
StatePublished - 2013
Event39th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2013 - Tampa, FL, United States
Duration: Jun 16 2013Jun 21 2013

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other39th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTampa, FL


  • Electrorefining
  • Impurity
  • Photovoltaic
  • Silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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