Thermodynamic and Kinetic Behavior of B and Na Through the Contact of B-Doped Silicon with Na2O-SiO2 Slags
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMetallurgical and materials transactions. B, process metallurgy and materials processing science. 2013, 44 (3), 571-583. 10.1007/s11663-013-9823-y
Boron (B) is the most problematic impurity to be removed in the processes applied for the production of solar grade silicon. Boron removal from liquid silicon by sodium-silicate slags is experimentally studied and it is indicated that B can be rapidly removed within short reaction times. The B removal rate is higher at higher temperatures and higher Na2O concentrations in the slag. Based on the experimental results and thermodynamic calculations, it is proposed that B removal from silicon phase takes place through its oxidation at the slag/Si interfacial area by Na2O and that the oxidized B is further gasified from the slag through the formation of sodium metaborate (Na2B2O4) at the slag/gas interfacial area. The overall rate of B removal is mainly controlled by these two chemical reactions. However, it is further proposed that the B removal rate from silicon depends on the mass transport of Na in the system. Sodium is transferred from slag to the molten silicon through the silicothermic reduction of Na2O at the slag/Si interface and it simultaneously evaporates at the Si/gas interfacial area. This causes a Na concentration rise in silicon and its further decline after reaching a maximum. A major part of the Na loss from the slag is due to its carbothermic reduction and formation of Na gas.