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Correlations Between Mapping Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Results and Solar Cell Performance for Evaluations of Nonuniformity in Thin-Film Silicon Photovoltaics

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7 Author(s)
Dahal, L.R. ; NSG Pilkington North America, Inc., Northwood, OH, USA ; Zhiquan Huang ; Attygalle, D. ; Salupo, C.
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An understanding of the relationship between materials property and thin-film solar cell performance variations over large areas is of interest for evaluating the impact of macroscopic nonuniformities in scale-up from laboratory cells to production modules. In this study, we have spatially correlated the properties of the hydrogenated silicon (Si:H) i- and p-layers-as mapped over a 13 cm×13 cm substrate area-with device performance parameters from an array of a-Si:H based n-i-p dot cells. To evaluate materials and device nonuniformities, a 16 × 16 array of dot cells has been fabricated over the substrate area, and this same area has been mapped by spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE).Analysis of the SE data over the full area provides maps of i-layer thickness and band gap, p-layer thickness and band gap, and p-layer surface roughness thickness for the n-i-p solar cell structure. The mapped values adjacent to the devices have been correlated with photovoltaic (PV) device performance parameters. When sufficient nonuniformity exists, these correlations enable optimization based on specific values of the fundamental properties. Alternatively, if the optimum set of properties has been identified, the impact of deviations due to macroscopic uniformities can be evaluated.

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Photovoltaics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 1 )