Development trend of quartz crucible industry: semiconductor and photovoltaic two-way drive

Development trend of quartz crucible industry: semiconductor and photovoltaic two-way drive

Development trend of quartz crucible industry: semiconductor and photovoltaic two-way drive

1、 Overview of Quartz Crucible

Quartz crucible is a container made of high-purity quartz sand, which is clean, homogeneous, high temperature resistant, and is widely used in the production process of refining crystalline silicon in the solar energy and semiconductor fields. According to the type of inner quartz, it can be divided into synthetic quartz crucible (SQC) and natural quartz crucible (NQC).

The technical progress of China’s quartz products industry is relatively obvious, especially the gap between the technical level of quartz crucible and the products of foreign enterprises is gradually narrowed, and remarkable progress has been made in crucible size, purity, crystal pulling time and times. At the same time, China’s domestic quartz crucible has cost advantages, creating conditions for domestic replacement of quartz crucible.

At present, in the field of photovoltaic quartz crucible, Chinese enterprises have occupied most of the market share by virtue of their price advantage; In the field of semiconductor quartz crucible, with the international semiconductor industry gradually transferred to China, as an important supporting raw and auxiliary material supply industry, the quartz crucible manufacturing field has achieved rapid development, and products are gradually being imported instead.

The production process of quartz crucible is relatively mature: the high-purity quartz powder is put into a rotary forming mold with any tilt angle, and the crucible shaped rotating device is moved to the electrode rod by using the centrifugal force and the forming rod for manual forming,

Then the electrode is electrified to start the arc and inserted into the shaped powder cavity. At the same time, the vacuum system is started to quickly melt it into fused quartz in the shape of a crucible. After cooling, it is taken out to complete the rough production of a quartz crucible.

Industrial chain of quartz crucible industry

From the perspective of the industrial chain, quartz crucibles are the main products of high-purity quartz sand, which are mainly used to support continuous crystal pulling under high temperature conditions, and are consumer quartz devices used to hold polysilicon raw materials. Downstream application fields are new energy industry and semiconductor industry.

Analysis of the current situation of quartz crucible industry

Global market

From the perspective of global market demand, the global lack of cores in the second half of 2020 will drive the prosperity of the semiconductor industry to soar, drive the industry’s demand for upstream silicon chips to grow, and drive the rapid growth of the quartz crucible market demand.

According to statistics, the global demand for semiconductor quartz crucibles will be about 223 million dollars in 2021. It is estimated that the demand for semiconductor quartz crucibles will increase by about 5% – 6% year-on-year in 2022, reaching more than 235 million dollars, of which the demand for more than 24 inches will account for about 65% – 70%.

From the perspective of regional demand distribution, the global semiconductor quartz crucible demand distribution in 2021 is mainly distributed in Japan and South Korea, accounting for 33% and 25% respectively, ranking first and second. It is followed by Europe, China and Taiwan, China, accounting for 14%, 13% and 8% respectively.

Competition pattern of quartz crucible industry in semiconductor field

From the perspective of the global market competition pattern, the top three global semiconductor quartz crucibles in 2021 are Coorstek, JSQ and shin Etsu, accounting for 27%, 26% and 25% respectively, accounting for most of the market. Dunyuan Juxin, the representative of China’s semiconductor quartz crucible, broke the monopoly and began to enter the 8 inch and 12 inch silicon wafer markets, ushering in a breakthrough, with a market share of 8%. Momentive accounts for 7%;

Development Problems and Prospect Analysis of Quartz Crucible Industry

At present, the quartz crucible industry is limited by the scarcity of raw quartz ore, which limits the increase of quartz crucible supply. As high-purity quartz sand is the core raw material of quartz crucible, the cost accounts for 72%.

At present, the main manufacturers of high-purity quartz sand in the world are Silicon Bike of the United States, TQC of Norway and quartz shares. Silicon Bike of the United States and TQC of Norway have the advantage of mineral resources. The reserves of high-purity quartz raw materials are rich and the product quality is high, leading the global supply of high-purity quartz sand for a long time.

However, its production capacity is mainly oriented to electronic high-end quartz glass, and the expansion of photovoltaic grade production is slow, China’s high-purity quartz sand bibcock ore source is mainly from Rajasthan Gujarat region, India.

Due to the limitation of mineral resources, the production capacity is small, and it is difficult to meet the demand for photovoltaic and semiconductor quartz crucibles.The continuous shortage of high-purity quartz sand restricts the further expansion of quartz crucible enterprises. The future development prospects of quartz crucible industry are as follows:

1. Photovoltaic field:

Photovoltaic boom continues, and silicon material production drives the direct demand for quartz crucible. Benefiting from the continuous decline in the cost of the photovoltaic industry chain and the global carbon neutrality acceleration, the newly added photovoltaic installed capacity in the world will exceed 175GW in 2021.

According to the CPIA data, it is estimated that 250GW of photovoltaic installed capacity will be added globally in 2022, and the photovoltaic industry chain is expected to continue to have a high landscape. In 2022, the effective capacity of domestic polysilicon in China will reach 995500 tons, an increase of 78.89% year on year. The new production capacity of silicon materials will directly drive the demand for quartz crucibles.

The permeability of N-type silicon wafer continues to increase, and the demand for high-performance crucibles increases sharply. According to the CPIA data, the penetration rate of N-type monocrystalline silicon wafer will be about 4.1% in 2021.

With the increasing demand for single crystal products from downstream, the market share of monocrystalline silicon wafer will further increase, and the proportion of N-type monocrystalline silicon wafer will continue to increase.

From the perspective of production requirements, N-type silicon chips have high requirements for carbon control, oxygen content and purity, so the requirements for materials such as quartz crucibles have been improved; From the perspective of consumables, based on the purity requirements of N-type silicon wafers, the replacement frequency of quartz crucibles is accelerated, and the demand for high-performance crucibles is surging.

At the same time, with the trend of large-scale silicon wafer, the size of quartz crucible is upgraded. Large size silicon wafers require the full cooperation of upstream supporting quartz crucibles, furnace benches, wire cutters and downstream components.

The 12 inch era of photovoltaic silicon wafers will put forward higher requirements for the size of quartz crucibles. At present, the products of domestic quartz crucible manufacturers in China generally reach 28-32 inches, and a few manufacturers, such as Oujing Technology, have successfully developed 40 inch quartz crucibles.

2. Semiconductor field:

Take China as an example, the domestic substitution trend of semiconductor silicon chips is obvious, and the increment space of quartz crucible is huge. With the migration of semiconductor industry and the strong promotion of China’s policies, the global silicon wafer production capacity is gradually transferred to the inland areas of China, and there is a huge space for the replacement of domestic semiconductor silicon wafers.

According to SIA data, the sales of integrated circuits in China will reach 192.5 billion dollars in 2021, with a year-on-year growth of 27.1%. It is expected that the sales volume of Chinese semiconductor silicon chip enterprises will continue to increase, which will be higher than the growth rate of the global semiconductor silicon chip market, and the market share will continue to expand. The continuous improvement of the production rate of semiconductor silicon chips in China will significantly benefit the quartz crucible products and drive the high-end development of the industry.

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