Methods are provided for casting one or more of a semi-conductor, an oxide, and an intermetallic material. With such methods, a cast body of a geometrically ordered multi-crystalline form of the one or more of a semiconductor, an oxide, and an intermetallic material may be formed that is free or substantially free of radially-distributed impurities and defects and having at least two dimensions that are each at least about 10 cm.
 This invention was made with U.S. Government support under National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Subcontract No. ZDO-2-30628-03 under Department of Energy (DOE) Contract No. DE-AC36-98G010337, awarded by DOE. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.