Physical Characterization of Thin-Film Solar Cells

Ken Durose, Sally E. Asher, Wolfram Jaegermann, Dean Levi, Brian E. McCandless, Wyatt Metzger, Helio Moutinho, P. D. Paulson, Craig L. Perkins, James R. Sites, Glenn Teeter, Mathias Terheggen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus Citations


The principal techniques used in the physical characterization of thin-film solar cells and materials are reviewed, these being scanning probe microscopy (SPM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), spectroscopic ellipsometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), photoluminescence and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL), electron-beam-induced current (EBIC) and light-beam-induced current (LBIC). For each method the particular applicability to thin-film solar cells is highlighted. Examples of the use of each are given, these being drawn from the chalcopyrite, CdTe, Si and III-V materials systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)177-217
Number of pages41
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2004

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-36458


  • Characterization
  • Chemical analysis
  • Microstructure
  • Optical properties
  • Spatially resolved functionality
  • Thin-film solar cell


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