Characterization of Laser Edge Isolation in Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells

C. S. Jiang, H. R. Moutinho, S. Johnston, Y. Yan, M. M. Al-Jassim, J. Gorman, A. Blosse

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


We report on a characterization study of laser edge isolation in multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) solar cells using microscopic electrical, structural, and morphological tools of scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM), conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM), electron backscattering diffraction (EBSD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), as well as a macroscopic electrical characterization of lock-in thermography (LIT). SCM and C-AFM measurements revealed that the emitter was not completely removed by the laser ablation, and considerable amounts of emitter dopant were driven into the material. A portion of the ablated or molten material was redeposited or recrystallized on top of the laser groove, forming either single- or polycrystalline stripes. Si particles with either polycrystalline or amorphous structures were also formed on the grooves. LIT measurement on a shunted device exhibits a high-temperature region centered on the groove line, indicating inadequate isolation. SEM observations show a significant different morphological/structural surface of the groove from that of the isolated devices. These techniques provide useful characterizations for failure analysis of the laser edge isolation.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2010
Event35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2010 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: 20 Jun 201025 Jun 2010


Conference35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-520-47701


  • edge isolation
  • scanning capacitance microscopy
  • solar cells


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