Solar Cell Production Dow Corning Starts Production of Monosilane Gas for Solar Cells

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Dow Corning's new monosilane gas production in Michigan just entered production. Monosilane gas is used as an anti-reflective coating for the production of solar cells.

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(Picture: Dow Corning)
(Picture: Dow Corning)

Midland, Michigan/USA – Dow Corning announced the first production of high-purity monosilane gas at its facility in Thomas Township, Michigan. Monosilane gas is a key material used as an anti-reflective solar cell coating and as a feedstock for photovoltaics. Dow Corning’s Michigan plant, having a capacity of 4,000 tons/year, was recently opened adjacent to a polysilicon manufacturing plant of Hemlock Semiconductor Group, of which Dow Corning is majority shareholder.

“Technology and innovation can only grow as fast as manufacturers are supplied raw materials,” said Eric Peeters, vice president, Dow Corning Solar Solutions. “The solar energy market depends on a reliable supply of high-purity monosilane gas as one of those key raw materials. There are only a few major manufacturers of monosilane, and most of them use much of their supply for their own downstream processing. So up until now, monosilane has not always been available when customers needed it.”

With this new approach towards its customers, Dow Corning hopes to become a leading supplier for the solar branch: “We have always said that we aim to be the material house for the solar industry,” said Peeters. “By going online with a high-capacity plant dedicated to serving customers, Dow Corning is offering customers a very competitive choice to help boost their productivity."

Together with the Hemlock Semiconductor Group, Dow Corning have announced investments of more than US $ 5 billion for the research and production of materials for the solar industry over the past six years. According to company officials, Dow Corning aims to supply silicon solutions throughout the entire photovoltaic value chain: “The plant’s consistent purity and our track record of quality in silicon-based products make monosilane from Dow Corning a switch customers can make with confidence. This is a great opportunity to either change primary sources or add a secondary one,” Peeters said.