The microstructure of as‐grown and processed, edge‐defined film‐fed grown, silicon ribbons was studied in order to identify the basic mechanisms responsible for the change of the as‐grown defect structure during processing at elevated temperatures. The short heat treatment required to diffuse the pn junction was sufficient to cause heterogeneous precipitation of impurity atoms, particularly transition metals. In addition, an elastic recovery of the ribbon occurred by dislocation glide, resulting in the formation of a polygonizationlike structure of sub boundaries in the base. Mechanism are suggested by which twin boundaries, acting as dislocation obstacles, can concentrate the relatively low average dislocation densities typical of edge‐defined film‐fed grown ribbons (104 cm2 to 108 cm2) to values which are sufficient to induce the formation of subgrainlike boundary structures.

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