Safe, Reliable Silane Supply for the PV Industry

VanOmmeren*, James ; Cecchini, John ; Tavianini, David
(Air Products, Allentown, PA)

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Silane, an electronic specialty gas, has been used in commercial quantities since the mid 1960’s. It is a pyrophoric gas in which several severe incidents have occurred over the last 40 years. Considerable effort has been put forth to better understand silane’s properties and behaviour when it is released during an incident. Silane is used in the manufacture of both crystalline and silicon thin film photovoltaic (PV) devices. The rapidly growing PV market is attracting new manufacturers from varied backgrounds that can benefit from a better understanding of the advances and standards adopted for silane handling in the adjacent integrated circuit(IC) and flat panel display (TFT-LCD) markets. As the PV industry continues on it rapid expansion, additional sites will be considering bulk supply, which has its own unique soltuions. This discussion will highlight some of the best practices and guidelines that should be considered for manufacturers to use silane in a safe and reliable manner.

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