Polycrystalline Silicon

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  • The electrical characteristics of a poly-Si thin film depends on its doping.
  • Poly-Si is more resistive than single- crystal silicon for any given level of doping mainly because the grain boundaries in poly-Si hamper carrier mobility.
  • Common dopants for polysilicon include arsenic, phosphorus, and boron. Polysilicon is usually deposited undoped, with the dopants just introduced later on after deposition.
  • The main advantage of polysilicon over a-Si is that the mobility can be orders of magnitude larger and the material also shows greater stability under electric field and light-induced stress.
  • This allows more complex, high-speed circuity to be created on the glass substrate along with the a-Si devices, which are still needed for their low-leakage characteristics. When polysilicon and a-Si devices are used in the same process this is called hybrid processing.
  • Polycrystalline (sometimes also called multicrystalline) solar panels are the most common because they are often the least expensive. They are the middle choice in the marketplace .Almost as good as single cell silicon panels but generally with a better efficiency than thin film solar panels.
  • Generally speaking, polycrystalline panels have an efficiency that is about 70% to 80% of a comparable monocrystalline solar panel. The most efficient polycrystalline panels are built by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.
  • Polycrystalline solar panel modules could put solar power into the hands of people who could not afford the polycrystalline cells.
  • Consumption in the global market for polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) is forecast to reach 444,532 metric tons by the year 2017, spurred by immense demand from burgeoning photovoltaic industry, the largest end-user market.
  • With increasing automation and economy of scale, the present generation of crystalline-silicon solar cells, including single-crystal wafers, polycrystalline wafers, ribbons, and sheets will continue to dominate the photovoltaic solar cell market for at least the first ten years of the 2lst century.

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