Investigation of pinholes in Czochralski silicon ingots in relation to structure loss
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Crystal Growth. 2019, 510 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2019.01.005
In the production of monocrystalline silicon by the Czochralski process, structure loss frequently reduces yield and increases production time. Structure loss means the transition from monocrystalline to multicrystalline structure. It is typically preceded by generation of dislocations and slip. Previous work concluded that a pinhole (i.e. a cavity from gas bubble in the melt) was the main cause of structure loss in an n-type Czochralski ingot. In the present study, seven industrial n-type Czochralski silicon ingots were investigated to assess whether pinholes frequently contribute to cause structure loss. Pinholes were found within 5 cm above the position where dislocations were generated in four out of the seven ingots. Slices were cut with the pinholes at one surface and etched with Sopori etchant. The pinholes did not appear to have affected the arrangements of etch pits in these samples and investigation of pinholes did not reveal the cause of structure loss. Furthermore, there were not significantly higher pinhole frequency before structure loss compared to ingots without structure loss among 4041 industrial ingots. Modeling of thermal stresses showed stress concentration around a pinhole, and it gives new insight into the level of stress the ingot can endure without generating dislocations and slip.