How our quartz contributes to the foundation of energy conversion
Silicon ingots are large single-crystal cylinders that serve as the base material for the silicon wafers in photovoltaic cells and semiconductors.
Crucibles are integral to the process of ingot pulling. Also known as the Czochralski method this is the creation of a block of silicon so that it forms one single crystal. Achieving an unbroken lattice structure is crucial for the integrity of the final product. This process occurs at extremely high temperatures under tightly controlled conditions to ensure crystal uniformity and purity. High purity quartz crucibles are one of the few known materials capable of performing in these extremely demanding environments.
A full ingot can weigh over 500 kg and measure 4.3 m long with a 25 cm diameter. One quartz crucible can pull approximately 8 ingots over a 400 hour period. Only crucibles made from high purity quartz sand are able to sustain this kind of performance.
Jan Czochralski invented his namesake process by accident. When he dipped his pen in molten tin instead of an inkwell he discovered that the strand of tin he drew out was a single crystal.