When a well‐collimated electron beam of an electron microscope impinges on the free surface of an n‐p junction, a short circuit ISC will be generated. If the primary beam current is amplitude modulated sinusoidally in time, the ISC exhibits a characteristic coherent phase shift with respect to the modulated primary beam. This phase shift depends on the minority‐carrier lifetime, doping level, and the position of energy levels of recombination centers within the band gap. For solar‐grade material with their long lifetimes the influence of energy‐level positions is negligible, but for short‐lifetime material (switching devices) the dependence of the phase shift on the energy levels of the recombination centers is critical. In this paper it is shown that the measurement of the phase shift at two different beam‐modulation frequencies allows for the determination of the lifetime and surface recombination velocity in solar‐grade material (solar cells).