Multi-Objective Optimization of Radiative Heating for Silicon Solar Cells Manufacturing

Vladimir Kudriavtsev, Terry Bluck (INTEVAC)

Challenge - Great number of companies and technologists in Silicon Valley are now focused on developing lower-cost processing methods and capital equipment to manufacture solar cells. This is typically done through a variety of high temperature thermal processes, where temperature uniformity is the most critical factor. Using ANSYS Workbench the study developed lamp heating surface-to-surface thermal conduction-radiation model for simultaneous transient multi-step heat-up of silicon substrates. Lamp locations, lamp to substrate distances, lamp dimensions, lamp power and its distribution are being optimized to achieve industry standard ±5 degrees thermal uniformity requirement. 









Solution - The aim of the optimization project is to minimize thermal variation across single substrate and across a group of substrates during radiant heating stage.

Benefits - Benefits obtained In head-to-head competitions best “human guided” (case-by-case) studies resulted in system design with ±10-20 deg.C thermal uniformity and took several weeks to accomplish, while computer optimization based approach allowed to quickly yield multiple solutions capable of reaching ± 3 deg. C. It took only two 24 hour cycles for CPU to “independently” accomplish this task. modeFRONTIER multi-objective optimization analysis provided unique insights into system behavior and lead to innovative enabling design solutions. Statistical analysis of designs provided confidence that founded solutions are truly best.