SEMI Photovoltaic Chemicals Standardization Update - April 2011

SEMI Photovoltaic Chemicals Standardization Update

Kevin Nguyen, SEMI Standards

Formed in 2008, the SEMI PV Gases and Liquid Chemical Purity Standards Task Force has made significant progress with the objective of defining the purity requirements of materials used by manufacturers of solar cells.  This effort aimed at PV parallels that of existing SEMI Standards, which have assisted semiconductor material suppliers and manufacturers through the years.  With representation from a wide spectrum of chemical suppliers, equipment suppliers and end users, the task force has successfully completed and published eight standards as listed below:

  • SEMI PV3-0310 Guide for High Purity Water Used in Photovoltaic Cell Processing
  • SEMI PV5-1110 Guide for Oxygen (O2), Bulk, Used in Photovoltaic
  • SEMI PV6-1110 Guide for Argon (Ar), Bulk, Used in Photovoltaic Applications
  • SEMI PV7-1110 Guide for Hydrogen (H2), Bulk, Used in Photovoltaic Applications
  • SEMI PV8-1110 Guide for Nitrogen (N2), Bulk, Used in Photovoltaic Applications
  • SEMI PV11-1110 Specifications for Hydrofluoric Acid, Used in Photovoltaic Applications
  • SEMI PV12-1110 Specifications for Phosphoric Acid, Used in Photovoltaic Applications
  • SEMI PV14-0211 Guide for Phosphorus Oxychloride, Used in Photovoltaic Applications

The following six gases and liquid chemicals are also being drafted by the task force.  These documents are anticipated to be balloted in cycle 3 or cycle 4 of 2011.  The results will be discussed by the task force  and adjudicated by the Photovoltaic Committee during their sessions at the upcoming Standards meetings during Intersolar North America in San Francisco, July 12-13, 2011.

  • Doc. 4793A Specifications for Hydrochloric Acid, Used In Photovoltaic Applications
  • Doc. 4797A Guide For Silane (SiH4), Used In Photovoltaic Applications
  • Doc. 5033A Guide For Ammonia (NH3) In Cylinders, Used In Photovoltaic Applications
  • Doc. 5095 Specifications for 2-Propanol, Used In Photovoltaic Applications
  • Doc. 5096 Specifications for Hydrogen Selenide (H2Se), Used In Photovoltaic Applications
  • Doc. 5098 Specifications for Ammonium Hydroxide (NH4OH), Used In Photovoltaic Applications

The task force is also working on other ballots including Hydrogen Peroxide, Sulfuric Acid, Trichlorosilane, and Fluorine. PV manufacturers are encouraged to participate in the mobilized volunteer technical force coordinated by SEMI to complete the defining of gas and chemical specifications used by your industry.  The SEMI Standards Program provides a large pool of resources to address common industry challenges, and through participation, PV manufacturers can realize the same benefits to growth and profitability that have been demonstrated in the semiconductor industry.

Reducing carbon footprint will continue to be a major priority for all countries in the world.   However, the success of the PV industry is dependent on the ability to manage costs.   Gas and chemical raw materials used in PV production processes are a significant portion of the overall cost stack.  However, continued input from PV manufacturers, including both procurement and technical inputs, is necessary to ensure that the product purity of gases and chemicals used in PV processing is being correctly specified. 

If you have any questions about participation or would like to join our task force please contact either Kevin Nguyen at knguyen@semi.org or Marty Burkhart at martyburkhart@hipuretech.com.

Upcoming PV Standards Meetings
June 9-10 Munich, Germany Intersolar Europe
July 12-13 San Francisco, California Intersolar North America