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Thermal and microstructual modelling for cast silicon
The SOPLIN (SOlidification by PLaner INterface) casting process of silicon ingots for photovoltaic applications at the Bayer AG, Germany, is supported by numerical modeling. Thermal modeling with the “Virtual Casting Furnace” (VCF) is used to optimize the process control of the casting furnace in view of the solidification velocity, the planarity of the solid-liquid interface and a low stress cooling stage. Microscopic modeling is used to gain further insight into material quality criteria and their dependence on process parameters. Microscopic models cover aspects of dislocation generation, segregation of foreign elements and the grain structure of the multicrystalline material.