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Continuous Wafer Synthesis for Solar Cell Production

Fraunhofer CMI - Center for Manufacturing Innovation

Fraunhofer CMI | Custom Automation | Continuous Wafer Production System Level
© Fraunhofer CMI.

Custom automation for uninterrupted crystal-to-wafer growth

Continuous Wafer Production System Overview


National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) and a large solar cell manufacturer: SCHOTT Solar CSP GmbH

Technical Summary:

Fraunhofer CMI worked with a solar cell manufacturer, under the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) sponsorship, to develop a continuous crystal growth system that automatically goes from "melt in to wafers out." As the crystal grows, it is automatically cut into wafers that are stacked and ready for down-stream operations. Through the development of custom automation, Fraunhofer CMI turned the conventional process of growing crystal tubes in batches, storing them, and later cutting them into wafers, into a more efficient continuous manufacturing process.


  • Higher solar cell wafer manufacturing efficiency
  • Continuous, all-in-one production system
  • Melt in, wafer stack out
  • Converted a traditionally batch process into a continuous process
  • Saved valuable floor space by combining multiple steps
  • Incorporated automated crystal drawing, laser cutting, and debris collection.
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Portrait of Bill Mosolgo

Bill Mosolgo

Business Development

Fraunhofer CMI - Center for Manufacturing Innovation


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