skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Chapter 14: Electron Microscopy on Thin Films for Solar Cells

Abstract

This chapter overviews the various techniques applied in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and highlights their possibilities and also limitations. It gives the various imaging and analysis techniques applied on a scanning electron microscope. The chapter shows that imaging is divided into that making use of secondary electrons (SEs) and of backscattered electrons (BSEs), resulting in different contrasts in the images and thus providing information on compositions, microstructures, and surface potentials. Whenever aiming for imaging and analyses at scales of down to the angstroms range, TEM and its related techniques are appropriate tools. In many cases, also SEM techniques provide the access to various material properties of the individual layers, not requiring specimen preparation as time consuming as TEM techniques. Finally, the chapter dedicates to cross-sectional specimen preparation for electron microscopy. The preparation decides indeed on the quality of imaging and analyses.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin fur Materialien und Energie GmbH (HZB)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1405275
Report Number(s):
NREL/CH-5200-70375
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Book
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 42 ENGINEERING; backscattered electrons; conventional transmission electron microscopy; cross-sectional specimen preparation; imaging techniques; scanning electron microscopy; scanning transmission electron microscopy; secondary electrons; thin-film solar cells

Citation Formats

Romero, Manuel, Abou-Ras, Daniel, Nichterwitz, Melanie, and Schmidt, Sebastian S. Chapter 14: Electron Microscopy on Thin Films for Solar Cells. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/9783527699025.ch14.
Romero, Manuel, Abou-Ras, Daniel, Nichterwitz, Melanie, & Schmidt, Sebastian S. Chapter 14: Electron Microscopy on Thin Films for Solar Cells. United States. doi:10.1002/9783527699025.ch14.
Romero, Manuel, Abou-Ras, Daniel, Nichterwitz, Melanie, and Schmidt, Sebastian S. 2016. "Chapter 14: Electron Microscopy on Thin Films for Solar Cells". United States. doi:10.1002/9783527699025.ch14.
@article{osti_1405275,
title = {Chapter 14: Electron Microscopy on Thin Films for Solar Cells},
author = {Romero, Manuel and Abou-Ras, Daniel and Nichterwitz, Melanie and Schmidt, Sebastian S.},
abstractNote = {This chapter overviews the various techniques applied in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and highlights their possibilities and also limitations. It gives the various imaging and analysis techniques applied on a scanning electron microscope. The chapter shows that imaging is divided into that making use of secondary electrons (SEs) and of backscattered electrons (BSEs), resulting in different contrasts in the images and thus providing information on compositions, microstructures, and surface potentials. Whenever aiming for imaging and analyses at scales of down to the angstroms range, TEM and its related techniques are appropriate tools. In many cases, also SEM techniques provide the access to various material properties of the individual layers, not requiring specimen preparation as time consuming as TEM techniques. Finally, the chapter dedicates to cross-sectional specimen preparation for electron microscopy. The preparation decides indeed on the quality of imaging and analyses.},
doi = {10.1002/9783527699025.ch14},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}

Book:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this book.

Save / Share:
  • No abstract prepared.
  • Modeling can provide physical insight to device operation, help distinguish important material properties from unimportant properties, predict trends, and help interpret experimental data. Numerical modeling is also useful to simulate different electro-optical experiments, in the presence of grain boundaries (GBs) and nonplanar junctions and geometries, and to help interpret data obtained in such experiments. This chapter presents methods for effective multidimensional modeling. The first step in creating a computational model is defining and providing discretization of a 2D area or a 3D volume. Two main approaches to the discretization have been used for studying solar cells: equivalent-circuit modeling and solvingmore » semiconductor equations. The chapter gives some examples of problems that were addressed with 2D or 3D modeling and the knowledge that was gained through them. Multidimensional modeling including GBs and other material variations is necessary to explain the device physics and experimental results present in diverse thin-film technologies.« less
  • Undoped and aluminum-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) thin films have been prepared on heated Corning 7059 glass substrates by pyrosol method under various deposition conditions. The effects of the different deposition variables and annealing in vacuum of ZnO thin films have been investigated by analyzing the electrical, optical, and compositional changes of the films. The results indicate that it is possible to obtain ZnO:Al thin films with a transmittance at about 80% and a resistivity as low as 3.5 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} {Omega}cm. Furthermore, it was also found that the films are stable in hydrogen plasma (within the exposure time ofmore » 10 minutes).« less
  • Technologically the electrochemical deposition method through the influence of potential, temperature, pH and composition of reactants offers excellent control over the properties of semiconductors. Using a potentiostatic approach, the films of CdS were deposited on tin oxide coated glass substrates at different conditions. The films were found to be smooth, uniform and adherent with a small grain size. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated a hexagonal phase rather than the cubic phase. Electrochemical deposition parameters were studied to obtain the optimum conditions for CdS films. The effects of the deposition, bath temperature, pH and solution composition on the deposition process and onmore » the structural, optical and electrical properties of the resulting films were studied in detail and the results will be presented in this paper.« less