MIDLAND — Dow Corning Corp. has begun production of high-purity monosilane gas – a key material used as an anti-reflective solar cell coating and as a feedstock for photovoltaics.
The gas is being manufactured in a Dow Corning plant in Thomas Township, adjacent to the 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 hasn’t always been available when customers needed it.”
Dow Corning’s monosilane plant has a capacity of 4,000 metric tons per year. Purity levels of the monosilane produced in the plant have consistently matched that of the leading supplier, and are above industry specifications.
“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. 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.”
As one of the only companies in the world that provides silicon-based products and services throughout the entire photovoltaic value chain, Dow Corning is investing to expand its portfolio of total solution packages, which include encapsulants, adhesives, coatings, potting agents and sealants, as well as next-generation solar grade silicon.
Dow Corning and its joint ventures at the Hemlock Semiconductor Group have announced investments of more than $5 billion over the past six years to research and develop as well as to expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.
Dow Corning provides more than 7,000 silicone and silicon-based products and services to more than 25,000 customers worldwide.
Dow Corning is a joint venture of Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. and New York-based Corning Inc.
More at www.dowcorning.com.