With Liquid Flow Control Or Manipulation During Growth (e.g., Mixing, Replenishing, Magnetic Levitation, Stabilization, Convection Control, Baffle) Patents (Class 117/30)
  • Patent number: 10512959
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing an ultrafine single-crystalline metal wire is presented. The method continuously manufactures an ultrafine long single-crystalline wire by shaping a grown single-crystalline metal to have a circular or rectangular cross section and then by drawing the shape-processed single-crystalline metal using a drawing machine. Therefore, the method simplifies manufacturing procedures to reduce manufacturing costs and lowers electrical resistance of a produced metal wire to improve the quality of the produced metal wire. The method includes: a first step of growing a single-crystalline metal ingot using a Czochralski or a Bridgman method; a second step of subjecting the single-crystalline metal ingot to a shaping process such that the single-crystalline metal ingot has a certain shape; and a third step of completing the manufacture of an ultrafine single-crystalline metal wire by drawing the shape-processed single-crystalline metal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: PUSAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY INDUSTRIAL-UNIVERSITY COOPERATION FOUNDATION
    Inventors: Se-young Jeong, Sang-eon Park, Seung-hun Lee, Seung Jeong, Hoon-chul Yang
  • Patent number: 10087080
    Abstract: A method of fabricating a poly-crystalline silicon ingot includes: (a) loading a nucleation promotion layer onto a bottom of a mold; (b) providing a silicon source on the nucleation promotion layer in the mold; (c) heating the mold until the silicon source is melted into a silicon melt completely; (d) controlling at least one thermal control parameter regarding the silicon melt continually to enable the silicon melt to nucleate on the nucleation promotion layer such that a plurality of silicon grains grow in the vertical direction; (e) controlling the at least one thermal control parameter to enable the plurality of the silicon grains to continuously grow with an average grain size increasing progressively in the vertical direction until entirety of the silicon melt is solidified to obtain the poly-crystalline silicon ingot, wherein the nucleation promotion layer is loaded by spreading a plurality of mono-Si particles over the bottom of the mold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: Sino-American Silicon Products Inc.
    Inventors: Wen-Huai Yu, Cheng-Jui Yang, Yu-Min Yang, Kai-Yuan Pai, Wen-Chieh Lan, Chan-Lu Su, Yu-Tsung Chiang, Sung-Lin Hsu, Wen-Ching Hsu, Chung-Wen Lan
  • Patent number: 9951440
    Abstract: An method for producing a silicon ingot includes melting polycrystalline silicon in a crucible enclosed in a vacuum chamber to form a melt, generating a cusped magnetic field within the vacuum chamber, dipping a seed crystal into the melt, withdrawing the seed crystal from the melt to pull a single crystal that forms the silicon ingot, wherein the silicon ingot has a diameter greater than about 150 millimeters (mm), and simultaneously regulating a plurality of process parameters such that the silicon ingot has an oxygen concentration less than about 5 parts per million atoms (ppma). The plurality of process parameters include a wall temperature of the crucible, a transport of silicon monoxide (SiO) from the crucible to the single crystal, and an evaporation rate of SiO from the melt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: SunEdison Semiconductor Limited
    Inventors: Soubir Basak, Carissima Marie Hudson, Gaurab Samanta, Jae-Woo Ryu, Hariprasad Sreedharamurthy, Kirk D. McCallum, HyungMin Lee
  • Patent number: 9708729
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus for manufacturing a single crystal according to a Czochralski method, including: a crucible configured to contain a raw material melt; a cylindrical heater surrounding the crucible, the heater being configured to heat the raw material melt; a main chamber that accommodates the crucible and the heater; an electrode that is inserted from the bottom of the main chamber and supports the cylindrical heater, the electrode being configured to supply electric power to the heater; and a melt-leakage receiving tray disposed on the bottom of the main chamber, the tray being configured to receive the raw material melt leaking from the crucible, wherein a melt-leakage cover is disposed below the crucible and above the electrode, the cover being configured to prevent contact between the raw material melt leaking from the crucible and the electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: SHIN-ETSU CHEMICAL CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Toshiro Shimada
  • Patent number: 9303332
    Abstract: Silicon single crystal substrates having uniform resistance, few BMDs in a surface layer and a moderate number of BMDs in a center of thickness of the substrate are formed from Czochralski silicon single crystals. The substrates have a resistivity in the center of a first main surface not lower than 50 ?·cm and a rate of change in resistivity in the first main surface not higher than 3%, an average density of bulk micro defects in a region between the first main surface and a plane at a depth of 50 ?m of less than 1×108/cm3, and an average density of bulk micro defects in a region lying between a plane at a depth of 300 ?m and a plane at a depth of 400 ?m from the first main surface not lower than 1×108 /cm3 and not higher than 1×109 /cm3.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: SILTRONIC AG
    Inventors: Katsuhiko Nakai, Masamichi Ohkubo, Hikaru Sakamoto
  • Patent number: 9281438
    Abstract: A group III element nitride single crystal is grown on a template immersed in a raw material liquid retained in a crucible and containing a group III material and one of an alkali metal and an alkali earth metal. The raw material liquid remaining after the growth of the single crystal is cooled and solidified, and by feeding a hydroxyl group-containing solution into the crucible, the solidified raw material is removed from around the template, and thus the group III element nitride single crystal is taken out from inside the solidified raw material. The template is disposed at a position away from the bottom of the crucible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2016
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Takeshi Hatakeyama, Hisashi Minemoto, Kouichi Hiranaka, Osamu Yamada
  • Patent number: 9242867
    Abstract: The invention provides polycrystalline silicon having concentrations of dopants of 1-10 ppta of boron, 1-20 ppta of phosphorus, 1-10 ppta of arsenic, 0.01-1 ppta of aluminum, and having a charge carrier lifetime of at least 2000 and at most 4500 ?s.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Wacker Chemie AG
    Inventors: Robert Baumann, Robert Hoelzl, Michael Weichselgartner
  • Patent number: 9127377
    Abstract: A single-crystal pulling device includes vertically tilted magnetic coils between the walls of a cooling vessel. The inside and outside walls of the cooling vessel are coaxially aligned about a central axis. The inside wall of the cooling vessel is coaxially disposed around a cylindrical crucible that holds molten semiconductor material. A mid line passes through the middle point of a first coil, the central axis and the middle point of a second coil. The first coil is wound in a first plane, and the second coil is wound in a second plane. The first plane and the second plane both intersect the central axis at the same point. The first plane intersects the central axis at an angle between 5 and 15 degrees. In one embodiment, the first plane intersects the central axis below the crucible. In another embodiment, the first plane intersects the central axis above the crucible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Babcock Noell GmbH
    Inventors: Wolfgang Walter, Cristian Boffo, Philipp Revilak
  • Patent number: 9057146
    Abstract: A sheet of a material is disposed in a melt of the material. The sheet is formed using a cooling plate in one instance. An exciting coil and sensing coil are positioned downstream of the cooling plate. The exciting coil and sensing coil use eddy currents to determine a thickness of the solid sheet on top of the melt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary J. Rosen, Frank Sinclair, Alexander Soskov, James S. Buff
  • Patent number: 9039835
    Abstract: An apparatus for producing multicrystalline silicon ingots by the induction method comprises an enclosure, which includes means for start-up heating of silicon and a cooled crucible enveloped by an inductor. The crucible has a movable bottom and four walls consisting of sections spaced apart by vertically extending slots, means for moving the movable bottom, and a controlled cooling compartment arranged under the cooled crucible. The inside face of the crucible defines a melting chamber of a rectangular or square cross-section. The walls of the cooled crucible extend outwards at least from the inductor toward the lowest portion of the cooled crucible to thereby expand the melting chamber, and the angle ? of expanding the melting chamber is defined by the equation ?=arctg[2·(k?1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: SoLin Development B.V.
    Inventors: Sergii Beringov, Volodymyr Onischenko, Anatoly Shkulkov, Yuriy Cherpak, Sergii Pozigun, Stepan Marchenko, Bogdan Chepurnyy
  • Patent number: 8968471
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides an apparatus for manufacturing a silicon substrate for solar cells using continuous casting, which can improve quality, productivity and energy conversion efficiency of the silicon substrate. The apparatus includes a crucible unit configured to receive raw silicon and having a discharge port, a heating unit provided to an outer wall and an external bottom surface of the crucible unit and heating the crucible unit to form molten silicon, a casting unit casting the molten silicon into a silicon substrate, a cooling unit rapidly cooling the silicon substrate, and a transfer unit disposed at one end of the cooling unit and transferring the silicon substrate. The casting unit includes a casting unit body having a casting space defined therein to be horizontally connected to the discharge port, and an assistant heating mechanism that preheats the casting unit body to control a solidification temperature of the silicon substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Energy Research
    Inventors: Bo-Yun Jang, Jin-Seok Lee, Joon-Soo Kim
  • Publication number: 20150040820
    Abstract: The success rate of multi-pulled single crystal growth by the Czochralski method is enhanced by the use of a melt crucible having an amount of barium on an inner surface thereof which varies inversely with the diameter of the crucible. At least one single crystal is separated from the melt by a free span method.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2012
    Publication date: February 12, 2015
    Applicant: SILTRONIC AG
    Inventors: Hideo Kato, Shinichi Kyufu
  • Patent number: 8936679
    Abstract: According to one exemplary embodiment, a single crystal pulling-up apparatus of pulling-up silicon single crystals by a Czochralski method, is provided with: a neck diameter measuring portion which measures a diameter of a grown neck portion; a first compensation portion which outputs a first compensated pulling-up speed for the seed crystals based on a difference between a measured value of the diameter of the neck portion and a target value of the neck portion diameter previously stored; a second compensation portion which outputs a second pulling-up speed while limiting an upper limit of the first pulling-up speed to a first limit value; and a crucible rotation number compensation portion which lowers the number of a rotation of a crucible at least in a period where the upper limit of the first pulling-up speed is limited to the first limit value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Assignee: Globalwafers Japan Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Hironori Banba, Hiromichi Isogai, Yoshiaki Abe, Takashi Ishikawa, Shingo Narimatsu, Jun Nakao, Hiroyuki Abiko, Michihiro Ohwa
  • Patent number: 8858908
    Abstract: A method of producing an n-type group III nitride single crystal includes putting raw materials that include at least a substance including a group III element, an alkali metal, and boron oxide into a reaction vessel; melting the boron oxide by heating the reaction vessel to a melting point of the boron oxide; forming a mixed melt which includes the group III element, the alkali metal, and the boron oxide, in the reaction vessel by heating the reaction vessel to a crystal growth temperature of a group III nitride; dissolving nitrogen into the mixed melt by bringing a nitrogen-containing gas into contact with the mixed melt; and growing an n-type group III nitride single crystal, which is doped with oxygen as a donor, from the group III element, the nitrogen, and oxygen in the boron oxide that are dissolved in the mixed melt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Hirokazu Iwata
  • Publication number: 20140299046
    Abstract: A method for producing a crystal, according to the present invention, where the lower surface of a seed crystal which is rotatably arranged and made of silicon carbide is brought into contact with a solution of silicon solvent containing carbon in a crucible which is rotatably arranged and the seed crystal is pulled up and a crystal of silicon carbide is grown from the solution on the lower surface of the seed crystal, comprising the steps of bringing the lower surface of the seed crystal into contact with the solution in a contact step, rotating the seed crystal in a seed crystal rotation step, rotating the crucible in a crucible rotation step, and stopping rotation of the crucible, while the seed crystal is rotated in the state in which the lower surface of the seed crystal is in contact with the solution, in a deceleration step.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2012
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Applicant: KYOCERA Corporation
    Inventors: Chiaki Domoto, Katsuaki Masaki, Yutaka Kuba, Daisuke Ueyama, Kouji Miyamoto, Yuuichiro Hayashi
  • Patent number: 8764901
    Abstract: Embodiments related to sheet production are disclosed. A melt of a material is cooled to form a sheet of the material on the melt. The sheet is formed in a first region at a first sheet height. The sheet is translated to a second region such that it has a second sheet height higher than the first sheet height. The sheet is then separated from the melt. A seed wafer may be used to form the sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter L. Kellerman, Dawei Sun, Brian Helenbrook, David S. Harvey
  • Patent number: 8696813
    Abstract: Leakage of silicon melt is monitored and touch of a seed crystal at the silicon melt is detected, and in addition, reinforcement of a vitreous silica crucible to be endurable during pulling for a long time and decrease of impurity concentration of a silicon single crystal can be expected. A method for manufacturing a silicon single crystal is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Japan Super Quartz Corporation
    Inventors: Masanori Fukui, Hideki Watanabe, Nobumitsu Takase
  • Patent number: 8696811
    Abstract: A feed assembly and method of use thereof of the present invention is used for the addition of a high pressure dopant such as arsenic into a silicon melt for CZ growth of semiconductor silicon crystals. The feed assembly includes a vessel-and-valve assembly for holding dopant, and a feed tube assembly, attached to the vessel-and-valve assembly for delivering dopant to a silicon melt. An actuator is connected to the feed tube assembly and a receiving tube for advancing and retracting the feed tube assembly to and from the surface of the silicon melt. A brake assembly is attached to the actuator and the receiving tube for restricting movement of the feed tube assembly and locking the feed tube assembly at a selected position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Massoud Javidi, Steve Garner
  • Patent number: 8685162
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a sheet production apparatus comprises a vessel configured to hold a melt of a material. A cooling plate is disposed proximate the melt and is configured to form a sheet of the material on the melt. A first gas jet is configured to direct a gas toward an edge of the vessel. A sheet of a material is translated horizontally on a surface of the melt and the sheet is removed from the melt. The first gas jet may be directed at the meniscus and may stabilize this meniscus or increase local pressure within the meniscus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter L. Kellerman, Gregory D. Thronson, Dawei Sun
  • Patent number: 8685161
    Abstract: Various single crystals are disclosed including sapphire. The single crystals have desirable geometric properties, including a width not less than about 15 cm and the thickness is not less than about 0.5 cm. The single crystal may also have other features, such as a maximum thickness variation, and as-formed crystals may have a generally symmetrical neck portion, particularly related to the transition from the neck to the main body of the crystal. Methods and for forming such crystals and an apparatus for carrying out the methods are disclosed as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc.
    Inventors: John W. Locher, Steven A. Zanella, Ralph L. MacLean, Jr., Herbert Ellsworth Bates
  • Patent number: 8673248
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a single crystal silicon ingot or wafer wherein the lateral incorporation effect of intrinsic point defects has been manipulated such that the formation of agglomerated intrinsic point defects and/or oxygen precipitate clusters in a ring extending radially inward from about the lateral surface of the ingot segment is limited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Milind S. Kulkarni
  • Patent number: 8652257
    Abstract: A melting furnace, mounted adjacent a growth furnace, comprises a receiving container for melting therein raw material in a particle or powder form falling in it from a feeder. The receiving container accommodates a set of slope-wise plates providing a distributed sliding of partially melted raw material particles over the surface of these plates and their complete melting while moving downward; eventually the melted raw material flows into the crucible of the growth furnace through a conveying tube extending slantingly from the bottom of the receiving container to the crucible through coaxial openings in housings of both furnaces. The rate of feeding is given solely by the feeder, and at continuous feeding the raw material flows continuously by gravity from the feeder to the crucible of the growth furnace, first in a solid state (powder, granules, pellets, etc.) and then in a liquid state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Inventors: Lev George Eidelman, Vladimir Ilya Zheleznyak
  • Patent number: 8628613
    Abstract: Silicon semiconductor wafers are produced by pulling a single crystal at a seed crystal from a melt heated in a crucible; supplying heat to the center of the crucible bottom with a heating power which, in the course of the growth of a cylindrical section of the single crystal, is increased at least once to not less than 2 kW and is then decreased again; and slicing semiconductor wafers from the pulled single crystal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Siltronic AG
    Inventors: Martin Weber, Werner Schachinger, Piotr Filar
  • Patent number: 8551247
    Abstract: Controlling crystal growth in a crystal growing system is described. The crystal growing system includes a heated crucible including a semiconductor melt from which a monocrystalline ingot is grown according to a Czochralski and the ingot is grown on a seed crystal pulled from the melt. The method includes applying a cusped magnetic field to the melt by supplying an upper coil with a first direct current (IUDC) and supplying a lower coil with a second direct current (ILDC). The method also includes supplying the upper coil with a first alternating current (IUAC) and supplying the lower coil with a second alternating current (ILAC) to generate a time-varying magnetic field, wherein the time-varying magnetic field generates a pumping force in the semiconductor melt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Hariprasad Sreedharamurthy, Milind Kulkarni, Harold W. Korb
  • Publication number: 20130224100
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for bulk Group-III nitride crystal growth through inductive stirring in a sodium flux growth technique. A helical electromagnetic coil is closely wound around a non-conducting cylindrical crucible containing a conductive crystal growth solution, including both precursor gallium and sodium, wherein a nitrogen-containing atmosphere can be maintained at any pressure. A seed crystal is introduced with the crystal's growth interface submerged slightly below the solution's surface. Electrical contact is made to the coil and an AC electrical field is applied at a specified frequency, in order to create eddy currents within the conductive crystal growth solution, resulting in a steady-state flux of solution impinging on the submerged crystal's growth interface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2013
    Publication date: August 29, 2013
    Applicant: THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
    Inventor: THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
  • Patent number: 8475590
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for producing a crystalline ribbon continuously from a melt pool of liquid feed material, e.g. silicon. The silicon is melted and flowed into a growth tray to provide a melt pool of liquid silicon. Heat is passively extracted by allowing heat to flow from the melt pool up through a chimney. Heat is simultaneously applied to the growth tray to keep the silicon in its liquid phase while heat loss is occurring through the chimney. A template is placed in contact with the melt pool as heat is lost through the chimney so that the silicon starts to “freeze” (i.e. solidify) and adheres to the template. The template is then pulled from the melt pool thereby producing a continuous ribbon of crystalline silicon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: AMG Idealcast Solar Corporation
    Inventor: Roger F. Clark
  • Patent number: 8454746
    Abstract: Silicon single crystals are prepared from molten granules, by producing a first volume of molten silicon between a growing single crystal and the lower end of a silicon conical tube which is closed at its lower end, and encloses a central opening of a rotating silicon plate below which the tube extends, by means of a first induction heating coil arranged below the plate; producing a second volume of molten silicon by a second induction heating coil arranged above the plate; melting the lower end of the tube to form a passage for the second volume of molten silicon, the passage produced at a point in time when the second volume is not yet present or is less than double the volume of the first volume; and crystallizing monocrystalline silicon on the growing single crystal with consumption of molten silicon from the first and the second volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Siltronic AG
    Inventors: Wilfried von Ammon, Ludwig Altmannshofer
  • Patent number: 8414701
    Abstract: In this method for manufacturing a silicon single crystal, when growing the silicon single crystal, in order to control the V/G value with high accuracy so as to yield a desired defect-free region, it is important to conduct the pulling at a constant pulling rate. In the method for pulling a silicon single crystal in the present invention, in order to control the V/G value with high accuracy, the distance ?t between the melt surface of the silicon melt and the heat shielding member that is disposed so as to oppose to and to partially cover this melt surface is continuously measured while pulling (growing) the silicon single crystal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Sumco Corporation
    Inventor: Keiichi Takanashi
  • Patent number: 8398765
    Abstract: A system for growing silicon crystals that facilitates controlling a shape of a melt-solid interface is described. The crystal growing system includes a heated crucible including a semiconductor melt from which a monocrystalline ingot is grown according to a Czochralski process. The ingot is grown on a seed crystal pulled from the melt. The method includes applying an unbalanced cusped magnetic field to the melt, and rotating the ingot and the crucible in the same direction while the ingot is being pulled from the melt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Hariprasad Sreedharamurthy, Milind Kulkarni, Richard G. Schrenker, Joseph C. Holzer, Harold W. Korb
  • Patent number: 8361223
    Abstract: Provided is a method for reliably and easily measuring a liquid level by selecting an optimal reflection method from among a plurality of reflection methods, depending on growing conditions of a pulled single crystal. The method comprises: setting a plurality of measuring methods having different ways of determining the liquid level; creating, in advance, information that associates with a gap between the outer peripheral face of the single crystal and a predetermined position located between a heat shield and the outer peripheral face of the single crystal; determining the gap in accordance with manufacturing conditions; selecting a measuring method associated to the determined gap, on the basis of the information; and measuring the liquid level of a melt surface in use of the selected measuring method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Sumco Techxiv Corporation
    Inventors: Toshio Hayashida, Ayumi Kihara, Takuaki Takami
  • Patent number: 8317919
    Abstract: An improved system based on the Czochralski process for continuous growth of a single crystal ingot comprises a low aspect ratio, large diameter, and substantially flat crucible, including an optional weir surrounding the crystal. The low aspect ratio crucible substantially eliminates convection currents and reduces oxygen content in a finished single crystal silicon ingot. A separate level controlled silicon pre-melting chamber provides a continuous source of molten silicon to the growth crucible advantageously eliminating the need for vertical travel and a crucible raising system during the crystal pulling process. A plurality of heaters beneath the crucible establish corresponding thermal zones across the melt. Thermal output of the heaters is individually controlled for providing an optimal thermal distribution across the melt and at the crystal/melt interface for improved crystal growth. Multiple crystal pulling chambers are provided for continuous processing and high throughput.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Solaicx, Inc.
    Inventor: David L Bender
  • Patent number: 8308864
    Abstract: The present invention is a single-crystal manufacturing method based on the Czochralski method, comprising at least the steps of: producing a melt by heating and melting a crystalline raw material in a crucible with a heater; maturing the melt by keeping the melt at a high temperature; growing a single crystal after dipping a seed crystal into the matured melt, wherein the heater and the crucible are relatively moved up and down in the step of maturing. As a result, there is provided a single-crystal manufacturing method that enables the generation of dislocation to be effectively suppressed and a high quality single crystal to be manufactured at good yield, particularly in case of pulling the single crystal having a large diameter, in manufacture of the single crystal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Shin-Etsu Handotai Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Makoto Iida, Kazuo Matsuzawa
  • Patent number: 8293008
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a large-sized and high-quality bismuth-zinc-borate (Bi.sub.2 ZnB.sub.2 O.sub.7) single crystal, preparation methods and applications thereof. The crystal has cross-sectional dimensions greater than one centimeter, a nonlinear optical effect of about 3-4 times that of KH.sub.2 PO.sub.4 (KDP), and an optical transmission wavelength range of 330-3300 nm. The crystal can be grown from a compound melt by a Czochralski method, a Kyropoulos method or a Bridgman method with the raw material being the synthetic compound Bi.sub.2 ZnB.sub.2 O.sub.7. Alternatively, the crystal may be grown from a high-temperature solution method by using Bi.sub.2 O.sub.3 as a flux. The crystal may be applied in nonlinear optical devices such as frequency doubling generators, frequency upconverters or downconverters, and optical parametric oscillators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Xingjiang Technical Institute of Physics & Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Inventors: Shilie Pan, Feng Li, Xueling Hou
  • Patent number: 8268077
    Abstract: An upper heater for use in the production of a single crystal, the upper heater having electrodes to which a current is supplied and a heat generating section which generates heat by resistance heating are provided, the upper heater being used when a single crystal is produced by a Czochralski method, the upper heater being placed above a graphite heater which is placed so as to surround a crucible containing silicon melt, wherein the heat generating section is ring-shaped and is placed so as to surround the crucible, and has slits formed from the inside and the outside of the heat generating section in a horizontal direction. As a result, the upper heater controls a crystal defect of the single crystal efficiently and improves the oxygen concentration controllability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Shin-Etsu Handotai Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kiyotaka Takano
  • Patent number: 8262797
    Abstract: A weir is extended vertically to define an optimal annular gap between the top of the weir and the underside of a super-adjacent heat shield. The annular gap provides a high velocity stream of argon gas to be directed from the growth region to the melt region to substantially eliminate the transport of airborne particles from the melt region to the growth region. The tall weir may be configured as a modular, reusable weir extension supportably engaged with an outer (and/or inner) weir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Solaicx, Inc.
    Inventors: David L. Bender, David E. A. Smith
  • Patent number: 8257496
    Abstract: A weighing system is provided for a continuous Czochralski process that accurately measures the weight of the crucible and melt during crystal growth to control the introduction of feedstock in order to keep the weight approximately constant. The system can measure the weight of the crucible while the crucible is rotating, and is insensitive to vibrations of the melt surface as well as variable torques on the crucible shaft induced by the rotation. The system also measures the weight of the crucible and its contents in order to control the amount of feedstock recharged after an ingot is withdrawn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Solaicx, Inc.
    Inventors: David L. Bender, Gary Janik, Roy P. Crawford, David E. A. Smith
  • Patent number: 8236104
    Abstract: A single-crystal manufacturing apparatus comprising at least: a main chamber configured to accommodate a crucible; a pulling chamber continuously provided above the main chamber, the pulling chamber into which a grown single crystal is pulled and accommodated; a gas inlet provided in the pulling chamber; a gas flow-guide cylinder downwardly extending from a ceiling of the main chamber; and a heat-insulating ring upwardly extending from a lower end portion of the gas flow-guide cylinder with a diameter of the heat-insulating ring increased so as to surround an outside of the gas flow-guide cylinder, wherein at least one window is provided in a region between 50 and 200 mm from a lower end of the gas flow-guide cylinder, and an opening area of the window accounts for 50% or more of a surface area of the region between 50 and 200 mm from the lower end of the gas flow-guide cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Shin-Etsu Handotai Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Satoshi Soeta, Toshifumi Fujii
  • Patent number: 8216362
    Abstract: Processes for preparing a single crystal silicon ingot are disclosed. In certain embodiments, the processes involve controlling (1) a growth velocity, v, of the ingot as well as (2) an average axial temperature gradient, G, a corrected average axial temperature gradient, Gcorrected, or an effective average axial temperature gradient, Geffective, during the growth of at least a segment of the constant diameter portion of the ingot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Milind S. Kulkarni
  • Patent number: 8216372
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus and method for growing a high quality Si single crystal ingot and a Si single crystal ingot and wafer produced thereby. The growth apparatus controls the oxygen concentration of the Si single crystal ingot to various values thereby producing the Si single crystal ingot with high productivity and extremely controlled growth defects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Siltron Inc.
    Inventor: Hyon-Jong Cho
  • Patent number: 8197595
    Abstract: A method for producing thin silicon rods using a floating zone crystallization process includes supplying high frequency (HF) current to a flat induction coil having a central opening, a plurality of draw openings and a plate with a slot as a current supply of the HF current so as to provide a circumfluent current to the central opening. An upper end of a raw silicon rod is heated by induction using the flat induction coil so as to form a melt pool. A thin silicon rod is drawn upwards through each of the plurality of draw openings in the flat induction coil from the melt pool without drawing a thin silicon rod through the central opening having the circumfluent current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: PV Silicon Forschungs und Produktions GmbH
    Inventors: Helge Riemann, Friedrich-Wilhelm Schulze, Joerg Fischer, Matthias Renner
  • Patent number: 8187383
    Abstract: In order to provide a semiconductor single crystal manufacturing device and a manufacturing method using a CZ method wherein the resistivity and oxygen concentration of a silicon single crystal can be controlled and wherein a single crystal yield can be improved, in the present invention, there is provided a wall 10 which defines a chamber inner wall 1c of a chamber 1, a crucible 2 and a heater 3. The wall 10 is formed by three members, namely, a single crystal side flow-straightening member 11, a melt surface side flow-straightening member 12 and a heater side flow-straightening member 13, which are connected to form a purge gas directing path 100. When the semiconductor single crystal is pulled, a flow speed of a purge gas that passes through the vicinity of the surface of the melt in a quartz crucible 3 is controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Sumco Techxiv Corporation
    Inventors: Toshimichi Kubota, Eiichi Kawasaki, Tsuneaki Tomonaga, Shinichi Kawazoe
  • Patent number: 8172943
    Abstract: Single crystalline ingots can be stably pulled free from dislocation and with a good crystal shape by actuating a crystal driving unit so as to immerse a seed crystal in a silicon melt, and controlling the crystal driving unit and a crucible driving unit under predetermined conditions so as to pull the seed crystal. During pulling, a horizontal magnetic field positioning device applies a magnetic field in the horizontal direction to the inside of the silicon melt, fixing the magnetic field axis at a constant position from the liquid surface of the melt. Positional adjustment of the vertical position of the horizontal magnetic field is performed in advance by a magnetic field position adjusting device, and the magnetic field axis of the applied field is fixed at a constant distance lower than the liquid surface of the melt by more than 50 mm and at the same level or higher than a depth L from the melt surface at the point of tail-in.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Siltronic AG
    Inventor: Masamichi Ohkubo
  • Patent number: 8147611
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a single crystal based on a Czochralski method of applying a horizontal magnetic field, wherein the single crystal is pulled in such a manner that a radial magnetic field intensity gradient ?Br/?Rc in a direction connecting central points of magnetic field generation coils exceeds 5.5 (Gauss/mm) and becomes 10 (Gauss/mm) or below where an origin O is a central part of the single crystal on a solid-liquid interface, ?Br (Gauss) is a variation in a magnetic field intensity from the origin O to a crucible inner wall on a surface of a melt, and ?Rc (mm) is a radial distance from the origin O to the crucible inner wall on the surface of the melt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Assignee: Shin-Etsu Handotai Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masahiro Sakurada, Izumi Fusegawa
  • Patent number: 8123855
    Abstract: A device and method for producing Ga doped silicone single crystal with a diameter between 150 and 165 mm and a narrow resistivity distribution range (from 3 ?·cm to 0.5 ?·cm). The device is characterized by the use of a shorter heater and a funnel shaped gas flow guide capable of blowing an inert gas such as Ar straight to the crystallization frontier at the interface between outer surface of the nascent single crystal ingot and the surface of the melt of polycrystalline silicone raw materials in a quartz crucible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Inventors: Bing Yan Ren, Li Ren
  • Patent number: 8114218
    Abstract: A single crystal pull apparatus has a multilayer crucible wherein the crucible has an outer crucible, an insertable layer intimately fitted thereon, and a wire frame positioned between the insertable layer and an inner crucible. The insertable layer, wire frame and inner crucible are preferably composed of platinum. Furthermore the insertable layers have thin walls and the frame has a small diameter such that they can be easily reshaped after any deformation occurring as a result of the single crystal growth process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Olexy V. Radkevich, Keith Ritter
  • Patent number: 8083852
    Abstract: A silicon single crystal growth method of pulling up and growing a single crystal from a melt of a silicon raw material melted in a quartz crucible based on a Czochralski method, the method comprising the steps of: applying a direct current voltage in such a manner that an outer wall of the quartz crucible acts as a positive electrode and an electrode immersed into the melt of the silicon raw material acts as a negative electrode, the immersed electrode being placed separately from a pulling member for pulling the single crystal; and growing the single crystal with the pulling member while passing an electric current through the electrode, and a pulling apparatus thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Shin-Etsu Handotai Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kosei Sugawara, Ryoji Hoshi, Masanori Takazawa, Yuuichi Miyahara, Atsushi Iwasaki
  • Patent number: 8016942
    Abstract: A metal fluoride single crystal pulling apparatus that upward pulling initiation through termination, in the state of shallow melt capable of highly effective inhibition of scatterer formation, can perform stable growth of single crystal and can suppress any mixing of air bubbles and occurrence of crystal break during crystal growth, etc; and a process for producing a metal fluoride single crystal therewith. As a crucible for accommodating a melt of raw metal fluoride, use is made of a double structured crucible composed of an outer crucible and an inner crucible. In the upward pulling of single crystal, the accommodation depth of inner crucible relative to the outer crucible is increased in accordance with any decrease of melt accommodated in the inner crucible according to the growth of single crystal, so that the melt accommodated in the outer crucible is fed into the inner crucible to thereby maintain the amount of melt accommodated in the inner crucible within a given range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: Tokuyama Corporation
    Inventors: Teruhiko Nawata, Ken Yasumura, Hiroyuki Yanagi, Eiichi Nishijima
  • Patent number: 7922817
    Abstract: A feed assembly and method of use thereof of the present invention is used for the addition of a high pressure dopant such as arsenic into a silicon melt for CZ growth of semiconductor silicon crystals. The feed assembly includes a vessel-and-valve assembly for holding dopant, and a feed tube assembly, attached to the vessel-and-valve assembly for delivering dopant to a silicon melt. An actuator is connected to the feed tube assembly and a receiving tube for advancing and retracting the feed tube assembly to and from the surface of the silicon melt. A brake assembly is attached to the actuator and the receiving tube for restricting movement of the feed tube assembly and locking the feed tube assembly at a selected position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Massoud Javidi, Steve Garner
  • Patent number: 7820246
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for growing a thin nitride film over a substrate and a thin nitride film device, in which the polarity of the thin nitride film can be controlled by a low temperature process. In the method for growing the thin nitride film over a substrate, a Ga face (2) and a N face (3) are formed over a c face sapphire (Al2O3) substrate (1), the Ga face (2) growing in +c face, and the N face (3) growing in ?c face.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Assignee: Japan Science and Technology Agency
    Inventors: Masatomo Sumiya, Shunro Fuke
  • Patent number: 7799131
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for the continuous production of semiconductor ribbons by growth from a linear molten zone. The creation of the molten zone is achieved by application of an electric current, direct or alternating, parallel to the surface of the ribbon and perpendicular to the direction of growth, and intense enough to melt the said material, preferably using electrodes of the said material. The molten zone is fed by transference of the material, in the liquid state, from one or more reservoirs, where melting of the feedstock occurs. Preferably, the said electrodes and the said reservoir(s) are only constituted by the said material, thus avoiding contamination by foreign materials. The present invention is applicable, for example, in the industry of silicon ribbons production for photovoltaic application.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Faculdade de Ciencias Da Universidade de Lisboa
    Inventors: António Vallêra, João Serra, Jorge Maia Alves, Miguel Brito, Roberto Gamboa, João Henriques