Types of Silicon

Silicon or other semiconductor materials used for solar cells can be single crystalline, multicrystalline, polycrystalline or amorphous. The key difference between these materials is degree to which the semiconductor has a regular, perfectly ordered crystal structure, and therefore semiconductor material may be classified according to the size of the crystals making up the material.

Terms for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells [1].

Terminology for various types of crystalline silicon (c-Si).

Descriptor Symbol Grain Size Common Growth Techniques
Single crystal sc-Si >10cm Czochralski (CZ) float zone (FZ)
Multicrystalline mc-Si 1mm-10cm Cast, sheet, ribbon
Polycrystalline pc-Si 1µm-1mm Chemical-vapour deposition
Microcrystalline µc-Si <1µm Plasma deposition