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Printable etching media for silicon dioxide and silicon nitride layers

The present invention relates to a novel printable etching medium having non-Newtonian flow behavior for the etching of surfaces in the production of solar cells, and to the use thereof. The present invention furthermore also relates to etching and doping media which are suitable both for the etching of inorganic layers and also for the doping of underlying layers. In particular, they are corresponding particle-containing compositions by means of which extremely fine structures can be etched very selectively without damaging or attacking adjacent areas.

Pinpoint and bulk electrochemical reduction of insulating silicon dioxide to silicon

Silicon dioxide (SiO(2)) is conventionally reduced to silicon by carbothermal reduction, in which the oxygen is removed by a heterogeneous-homogeneous reaction sequence at approximately 1,700 degrees C. Here we report pinpoint and bulk electrochemical methods for removing oxygen from solid SiO(2) in a molten CaCl(2) electrolyte at 850 degrees C. This approach involves a 'contacting electrode', in which a metal wire supplies electrons to a selected region of the insulating SiO(2). Bulk reduction of SiO(2) is possible by increasing the number of contacting points. The same method was also demonstrated with molten LiCl-KCl-CaCl(2) at 500 degrees C. The novelty and relative simplicity of this method might lead to new processes in silicon semiconductor technology, as well as in high-purity silicon production. The methodology may be applicable to electrochemical processing of a wide variety of insulating materials, provided that the electrolyte dissolves the appropriate constituent ion(s) of the material.



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