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SEMI PV10-1110 - Test Method for Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) of Silicon

Volume(s): Photovoltaic
Language: English
Type: Single Standards Download (.pdf)
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This standard was technically approved by the global Photovoltaic Committee. This edition was approved for publication by the global Audits & Reviews Subcommittee on August 27, 2010. Initially available at www.semi.org in October 2010.


Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) is a highly sensitive method for multi-element quantitative and qualitative analysis of various materials. In particular, it is an established method in the semiconductor industry for analyzing and qualifying poly-silicon (poly-Si), the feedstock for growing semiconductor grade single crystalline silicon (c-Si) as well as silicon wafers, regarding trace element contamination. The increasing demand for feedstock Si in the photovoltaic industry resulted in a higher volume of production of poly-Si and in developing alternative methods for purifying raw Si, resulting in materials that are generically called solar grade silicon (sog-Si) in the present document. This material may occur in a variety of shapes, like chunks, powder, and granules.


The growing volume of production of poly-Si and sog-Si requires also an increase of quality control for these materials, for which Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) is one method of choice. INAA is an NAA where the analysis is conducted directly on the irradiated samples, in contrast to Radiochemical Neutron Activation Analysis (RNAA) where the irradiated samples are subjected to chemical separation for removing interfering species or for concentrating the radioisotope of interest.1 Currently INAA is performed by laboratories using different irradiation sources and conditions, electronic equipment and preparation methods, and it is applied to a wide morphological variety of Si. Standardizing INAA for application to silicon will remove differences in the analytical approach and will establish a common reference for the analyses.

Referenced SEMI Standards

SEMI C28 — Specifications and Guidelines for Hydrofluoric Acid

SEMI C35 — Specifications and Guideline for Nitric Acid

Revision History
SEMI PV10-1110 (first published)

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