Applications of Imaging Techniques for Solar Cell Characterization

Steven W. Johnston, Nathan J. Call, Bill Phan, Richard K. Ahrenkiel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


Minority-carrier lifetime, diffusion length, resistance, and shunting are all useful parameters for monitoring material quality, processing, and cell performance. These data may be quickly obtained, and even potentially used during manufacturing, when collected from recently developed imaging techniques. Point-by-point measurements provide quantitative data that is valuable as a research tool, even though data acquisition time may be lengthy. Imaging data can often be collected in seconds with better resolution, and while it may initially appear only qualitative, correlations and calibrations are possible and can transform the image to a set of values. We present several examples of photoluminescence imaging on multi-crystalline Si wafers compared to microwave reflection lifetime mapping. We also present electroluminescence imaging and dark lock-in thermography on several cells of different efficiency and compare to diffusion length, lifetime, and sheet resistance.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2009 - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: 7 Jun 200912 Jun 2009


Conference2009 34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-520-46003


  • dark lock-in thermography
  • electroluminescence imaging
  • imaging techniques
  • photoluminescence imaging
  • solar cell characterization


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