Spatial Nonuniformities in the Minority-Carrier Diffusion Length/Lifetime: Measurement and Implications on a Large-Area Device Performance

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Measurement of the minority-carrier diffusion length (L) or lifetime (..tau..) in a nonuniform material, such as a photovoltaic (PV) silicon substrate, can pose major challenges. In general, a measured value is meaningful only if the size of the probe beam >>L, and the material is uniform in and around the region of measurement. When the measurement conditions differ from these, there is a netflow of generated carriers from the illuminated region into the unilluminated region, and/or an exchange of carriers within the neighboring regions. In these cases, the error can arise from two mechanisms: (i) recombination at the surface, and (ii) exchange of carriers within regions of different diffusion lengths. These errors can be minimized by the proper selecton of the carrier generationconditions and sample preparation. By combining the experimental results with less rigorous theoretical analyses, the conditions for the measurement of local values of L (or ..tau..) in a PV substrate can be determined. A network model can be used to integrate the influence of spatial distribution of L-values on a nonuniform substrate and predict the electrical characteristics of the large-areadevice fabricated on it.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages328-343
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 1998
EventRecombination Lifetime Measurements in Silicon: Advanced Workshop on Silicon Recombination Lifetime Characterization Methods - Santa Clara, California
Duration: 2 Jun 19973 Jun 1997

Conference

ConferenceRecombination Lifetime Measurements in Silicon: Advanced Workshop on Silicon Recombination Lifetime Characterization Methods
CitySanta Clara, California
Period2/06/973/06/97

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-520-23494

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