Identifying Reverse-Bias Breakdown Sites in CuInxGa(1-x)Se2

Steven Johnston, Harvey Guthrey, Lorelle Mansfield, Timothy Silverman, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Elizabeth Palmiotti, Andreas Gerber, Angus Rockett

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

3 Scopus Citations


CIGS mini-modules are stressed under reverse bias, resembling partial shading conditions, to predict and characterize where failure occurs. Partial shading can cause permanent damage in the form of 'wormlike' defects on thin-film modules due to thermal runaway. We use electroluminescence (EL) imaging and dark lock-in thermography (DLIT) to supplement current-voltage curves when reverse-bias breakdown occurs on various CIGS minimodules. For better understanding of how these defects originate and propagate, we have implemented a current-limited, reverse-bias stressing technique. This allowed for DLIT-based detection and detailed study of the region where breakdown initiates before thermal runaway leads to permanent damage. A correlation between suspected defect sites and actual breakdown has been determined using this method.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
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-5K00-67856


  • accelerated aging
  • breakdown voltage
  • electroluminescence
  • II-VI semiconductor materials
  • imaging photovoltaic cells
  • photoluminescence
  • reliability
  • thermal analysis


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