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Application of X-ray synchrotron techniques to the characterization of the chemical nature and recombination activity of grown-in and process-induced defects and impurities in solar cells

: Buonassisi, T.; Vyvenko, O.F.; Istratov, A.A.; Weber, E.R.; Schindler, R.

Ashok, S. ; Materials Research Society -MRS-:
Defect and impurity engineered semiconductors and devices III : Symposium held at the 2002 MRS spring meeting, April 1 - 5, 2002, San Francisco, California, USA
Warrendale, Pa.: MRS, 2002 (MRS symposium proceedings 719)
ISBN: 1-558-99665-9
Symposium F "Defect and impurity engineered semiconductors and devices" <3, 2002, San Francisco/Calif.>
Materials Research Society (Spring Meeting) <2002, San Francisco/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Results of the application of a combination of synchrotron radiation based analytical techniques, X-ray Beam Induced Current (XBIC) and microprobe X-ray Fluorescence (-XRF) to the analysis of shunts and lifetime limiting defects in solar cells are reported. XBIC, a new lifetime measurement technique similar to the Laser Beam Induced Current (LBIC) technique, uses a focused X-ray beam to generate minority charge carriers, which are then collected by the p-n junction of the solar cell. The X-ray beam is focused down to a spot size varying from approximately 1×1 m to 5×5 m, depending on the settings of focusing mirrors and slits. The sample stage is moved by computer-controlled step motors with sub-micron accuracy. Since the X-ray Beam Induced Current, which characterizes the minority carrier diffusion length in the spot where the X-ray beam hits the sample, and the X-ray Fluorescence signal, which characterizes the chemical nature of the precipitates under the beam, are m easured at the same time, the chemical nature of the defects and impurities and their recombination activity can be studied simultaneously, in situ, and with a micron-scale resolution. We present the results of the applications of these techniques to low lifetime regions in fully processed solar cells. The solar cells were pre-characterized by LBIC and thermography, and regions of interest (containing shunts) were selected. An -XRF scan in this area of low lifetime revealed the presence of silver and titanium far from the contact strip, suggesting a process-induced defect.