Decoupling Grain-Boundary, Grain-Interior, and Surface Recombination with Cathodoluminescence

John Moseley, Eric Colegrove, Joel Duenow, Wyatt Metzger, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Pierre Rale, Stephane Collin, Ana Kanevce

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In this work, we combine quantitative cathodoluminescence (CL) with time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) and numerical simulations to determine grain-boundary, grain-interior, and surface recombination parameters in standard CdTe thin films. CL intensities from thousands of grains are analyzed to accumulate statistics and chart variations with grain size. Grain-boundary contrast results for small grains indicate that the grain-boundary recombination velocity, S GB , decreases significantly with CdCl 2 treatment, but S GB is increased by subsequent Cu-diffusion. Furthermore, within a given sample, data suggests that S GB is nearly independent of grain size. The back-surface recombination velocity, S, is extracted from TRPL measurements incident on the back surface, and CL profiles are simulated to determine the grain-interior lifetime, t GI . Finally, CL intensity vs. grain size relationships are simulated to check for self-consistency of the S GB , S, and t GI values.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 2018
Event2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC) - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 25 Jun 201730 Jun 2017


Conference2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC)
CityWashington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-73969


  • photoluminescence
  • semiconductor device measurement
  • semiconductor epitaxial layers


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