We propose a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process with closed gas recycling for making low-cost, crystalline silicon thin films for solar cells, which connects chlorosilane synthesis from Si and HCl with Si thin-film growth by CVD from chlorosilanes. In this work we studied the formation of chlorosilanes by the reaction of Si with HCl at temperatures ranging from 623 to 723 K. The reaction rate is time dependent, and many pores are formed on the surface of particles after reaction. These pores are active sites for chemical reactions, and the reaction rates increase with increasing pore area. The rate can be correlated with the conversion ratio of Si, and the temporal evolution of the reaction rate can be explained by a reaction model called the shrinking-core model with growing pores. By using this model, we estimated the reaction rates per unit area of activated surfaces and converted them into a rate equation that can be used for the reactor design. The incubation time of the reaction can be shortened by pretreating the Si particles in a fluidized bed, which probably creates defects in the native oxide layers on the particles, which in turn become reactive sites.
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