Comparative Analysis of Fracture Strength of Slurry and Diamond Wire Sawn Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Wafers


  • This work was supported by the Silicon Solar Consortium (SiSoC), a National Science Foundation (NSF) – Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). The authors thank the industry members for providing the wafers used in the study, and Mr. Ben Hollerback at MiRC, Georgia Tech, for dicing the wafers.


This paper presents an analysis of fracture strength of multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) solar wafers produced by slurry and diamond wire sawing. The wafers were bent in two orthogonal orientations relative to the saw marks. The fracture strength of slurry sawn wafers increases gradually from wire entry to wire exit whereas the strength variation in the wire feed direction is small. The fracture strength of diamond wire sawn wafers is bi-directional, with a higher strength if bent perpendicular to the saw marks and a lower strength if bent parallel to the saw marks. The fracture strength variation is related to the microcracks generated in the vicinity of grit-induced surface damage.