Cross-Sectional Transport Imaging in a Multijunction Solar Cell

Nancy Haegel, Harvey Guthrey, Chi-Wen Ke, Hesham Taha, C. Fetzer, Richard King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus Citations


We combine a highly localized electron-beam point source excitation to generate excess free carriers with the spatial resolution of optical near-field imaging to map recombination in a cross-sectioned multijunction (Ga0.5In0.5P/GaIn0.01As/Ge) solar cell. By mapping the spatial variations in emission of light for fixed generation (as opposed to traditional cathodoluminescence (CL), which maps integrated emission as a function of position of generation), it is possible to directly monitor the motion of carriers and photons. We observe carrier diffusion throughout the full width of the middle (GaInAs) cell, as well as luminescent coupling from point source excitation in the top cell GaInP to the middle cell. Supporting CL and near-field photoluminescence (PL) measurements demonstrate the excitation-dependent Fermi level splitting effects that influence cross-sectioned spectroscopy results, as well as transport limitations on the spatial resolution of conventional cross-sectional far-field measurements.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7762750
Pages (from-to)354-358
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-67363


  • Cathodoluminescence (CL)
  • diffusion
  • luminescent coupling
  • multijunction solar cell
  • transport imaging


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