Continuous Production of Silicon Wafers for Solar Cells

We are interested in developing the scientific foundations and engineering for the design of a continuous process to produce thin silicon wafers suitable for solar cells. Progress has been made in the experimental, theoretical and simulation areas. Dr. Sudhir Ranjan is working on high-temperature experiments to validate process parameters and study silicon solidification on molten slags. German Oliveros is developing micromodels to study instabilities in the solidification front in order to develop efficient control strategies. Ruochen Liu and Dr. Balaji Sukumar are developing macromodels to describe multiphase behaviour in our proposed design.

Design and control of particulate processes with application to Solar Cell production

In this project we develop models and control strategies for solar grade Silicon production. Our investigation is aimed towards design and control of fluidized bed reactors for decomposition of Silane. The project is carried out in cooperation with SGS LLC in Moses Lake WA where the pilot plant experiments are carried out.

Dynamics and Control of Complex Process Networks

We have introduced a framework for studying dynamics, distributed control, and optimization of complex networks. These networks represent self-organizing structures so that stability and optimality follow as a consequence of how the networks are put together and how they are connected with other networks. We are currently investigating the application of the theory to bio-chemical networks, specifically in the optimization and control of metabolic pathways.

Optimal Sequential Decision Making by Adaptive Policy Iteration

This research addresses optimal sequential decision making by adaptive policy iteration. We formulate the sequential decision problem as a Markov decision process (MDP) and use a preliminary approach that solves linear quadratic systems through a reinforcement learning approach.

Design and Control of Multi-Phase Reactor Systems

The focus of this research is on passivity-based control of multiphase reaction systems. To study this type of system, a metallurgic process has been chosen involving the carbothermic reduction of aluminum. Pilot plant studies of the reaction are carried out by ALCOA, the world's leading producer of Aluminum. AT CMU we develop dynamic models for conceptual design, process optimization and process control.