Technical Brief

Analysis of Handling Stresses in Thin Solar Silicon Wafers Generated by a Rigid Vacuum Gripper

[+] Author and Article Information
Hao Wu

The George W. Woodruff
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332

Shreyes N. Melkote

The George W. Woodruff
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 24, 2015; final manuscript received May 26, 2015; published online October 1, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Hongqiang Chen.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 138(3), 034501 (Oct 01, 2015) Paper No: MANU-15-1058; doi: 10.1115/1.4030763 History: Received January 24, 2015; Revised May 26, 2015

Breakage of thin solar silicon wafers during handling and transport depends on the stresses imposed on the wafer by the handling/transport device. In this paper, the stresses generated in solar silicon wafers by a rigid vacuum gripper are analyzed via a combination of experiments and numerical modeling. Specifically, stresses produced in monocrystalline (Cz) and multicrystalline (Cast) silicon wafers of different thicknesses when handled by a vacuum gripper are analyzed using the finite element (FE) method. With the measured surface profiles of the wafer and the gripper as input, the handling process is simulated using FE modeling and the stress distribution obtained. The FE modeling results are validated by experimental data of wafer surface profile during handling. The results show that while the vacuum level does not have significant impact on the stress distribution, the initial surface profiles of the thin wafer and gripper play a dominant role in producing regions of high stress in the wafer.

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Fig. 1

Ceramic vacuum gripper used in the study

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Fig. 2

Stress analysis approach

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Fig. 3

Schematic of the gripper profile

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Fig. 4

Surface fit of a 125 mm × 125 mm cast wafer initial profile (unit: mm)

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Fig. 5

Surface fit of gripper profile (unit: mm)

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Fig. 6

Wafer boundary conditions

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Fig. 7

Partition regions for mesh

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Fig. 8

Typical von Mises handling stress distribution in silicon wafer (Cast24) generated by the vacuum gripper

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Fig. 9

Stress distribution in the vicinity of the maximum stress location in the wafer

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Fig. 10

Cz1 wafer surface initial profile (unit: mm)

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Fig. 11

Cz1H2 wafer surface initial profile (unit: mm)

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Fig. 12

Stress distribution in Cast24 wafer at 60 kPa vacuum pressure

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Fig. 13

ABAQUS calculated handled profile of wafer Cast24 (unit: mm)

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Fig. 14

Measured handled profile of wafer Cast24 (unit: mm)



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