Silicon Genesis Corporation

Company Background

Silicon Genesis Corporation (SiGen) is a leading provider of engineered substrate process technology for the semiconductor, display, optoelectronics, and solar markets. SiGen’s technology is used for production of Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) semiconductor wafers for high performance applications. SiGen develops innovative substrates through thin-film engineering, enabling new applications and markets for its customers. SiGen's customers and partners include top players from substrate and device suppliers throughout the world. Founded in 1997, SiGen is headquartered in San Jose, California (2).  The company also develops engineered substrates, such as silicon-on-insulator, silicon-on-glass, and silicon-on-quartz substrates based on its layer transfer technology for semiconductor devices, LCD production and direct view displays, and LEDs and laser diodes; and equipment to support the process technology for plasma activation and cleaving. In addition, it provides process licenses, training, and know-how/show-how to customers who license its processes; application engineering services for customer specific substrates; process training, installation, and ongoing warranty and support services; and sells equipment platforms to implement its engineered substrate processes through a direct sales force. Further, the company offers strained-silicon products, and other engineered multi-layer structures for electronic and optoelectronic device applications in microelectronic and photonics industries; Stand-Alone Plasma-Activation tool, a small footprint tool that provides a reactive surface to bond silicon wafers and heterogeneous substrates; and Debond and Cleave tool, a small footprint tool for layer transfer applications in high volume manufacturing. Its customers include top players from substrate and device suppliers worldwide (7).

Suppliers and Buyers

Silicon Genesis Corporation is partnered with many suppliers in equipment and solar cell suppliers (1b).

Strategic Partnerships

Silicon Genesis Corporation is partnered with the INNOViON Corporation (8). Silicon Genesis also was in an alliance with Akrion LLC aimed at qualifying production-worthy wet cleaning recipes for SiGen's silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer fabrication process using Akrion's wet bench systems. The alliance also focused on the integration of SiGen's production processes (9).

Innovation and Technology

Silicon Genesis has started production of solar wafers using its new high volume manufacturing system, dubbed PolyMax (3).

Silicon Genesis set the record when they produced the first ever 20um thickness solar-cell foils. The 125 mm square monocrystalline silicon (mono c-Si) foils were found to be robust and highly flexible. Neither a thin-film nor a wafer, the new form-factor was named a "foil" to better describe its unique physical characteristics as a thin, flexible yet free-standing material. This achievement represents an important milestone in the development of SiGen's PolyMax™ kerf-free wafering technology.  The 20um solar-cell foil combines the advantages of the low poly utilization of thin-film PV with the high efficiency potential of mono c-Si PV. This sets the stage for dramatic reductions in overall production costs, leading to reduced $/W (6).

In 2006 at the Society for Information Displays Conference in San Francisco, the Silicon Genesis presented the first multilayer transfer of single-crystal silicon films onto large-area glass substrates (4).

Silicon Genesis has completed the specifications of the new GenII PolyMax system, the company’s second-generation production system for manufacturing thin-silicon solar wafers.  SiGen’s beam-induced wafering technology will not only be used in the solar industry but can also produce high-quality thin materials for other emerging industry needs in packaging/3D structures and HB-LEDs using Sapphire, GaN, SiC, Germanium, GaAs and Silicon. The major advantage of this system is its ability to produce high-performance materials at reduced cost and at the same time maintains efficacy in complex end applications (5).

SiGen announced that it has finalized the specifications of its second-generation production system for fabricating thin-silicon solar wafers. The system design is a result of over 6 years of development, prototype testing and solar cell material evaluation with numerous equipment and solar cell partners. The new GenII PolyMax™ system comes after many industry firsts for SiGen, including first to make free-standing 20um (micron), 50um, 85um, 120um, and 150um of 125mm and 156mm industry standard square kerf-free monocrystalline silicon solar-cell wafers. These achievements delivered the first true mono c-Si kerf-free wafering for the PV industry (2).

Products

  • Equipment for semiconductors
  • Equipment for solar
  • Equipment for display and optoelectronics markets
  • Silicon-on-insulator (SOI)
  • Strained-silicon products
  • Engineered multi-layer structures for the microelectronic and photonics industries
  • Electronic and optoelectronic device applications (1a).

For more information, see the location page.

Sources

  1. Silicon Genesis Corporation (2010). Retrieved on November 9, 2012
    1. “Products” from www.sigen.net/contact.php
    2. “Silicon Genesis Announces its Second Generation Polymax™ Production Equipment for Thin Solar Wafering” from www.sigen.net/documents/PR03192012.pdf
  2. Business Wire (2012, March 19). “Silicon Genesis Announces its Second Generation Polymax™ Production Equipment for Thin Solar Wafering.” Retrieved on November 9, 2012 from www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120319005667/en/Silicon-Genesis-Announces-Generation-Polymax%E2%84%A2-Production-Equipment