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Title: Increased Throughput and Sensitivity of Synchrotron-Based Characterization for Photovoltaic Materials

Optimizing photovoltaic (PV) devices requires characterization and optimization across several length scales, from centimeters to nanometers. Synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence spectromicroscopy (μ-XRF) is a valuable link in the PV-related material and device characterization suite. μ-XRF maps of elemental distributions in PV materials have high spatial resolution and excellent sensitivity and can be measured on absorber materials and full devices. Recently, we implemented on-the-fly data collection (flyscan) at Beamline 2-ID-D at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, eliminating a 300 ms per-pixel overhead time. This faster scanning enables high-sensitivity (~10 14 atoms/cm 2), large-area (10 000s of μm 2), high-spatial resolution (<;200 nm scale) maps to be completed within a practical scanning time. We specifically show that when characterizing detrimental trace metal precipitate distributions in multicrystalline silicon wafers for PV, flyscans can increase the productivity of μ-XRF by an order of magnitude. Additionally, flyscan μ-XRF mapping enables relatively large-area correlative microscopy. As an example, we map the transition metal distribution in a 50 μm-diameter laser-fired contact of a silicon solar cell before and after lasing. As a result, while we focus on μ-XRF of mc-Si wafers for PV, our results apply broadly to synchrotron-based mapping of PV absorbers and devices.
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  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  3. Solar Energy Research Institute (Singapore)
  4. Aalto Univ., Espoo (Finland)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
European Research Council (ERC); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); European Commission, Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS), Seventh Framework Programme (FP7); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; X-ray fluorescence (XRF); correlative microscopy; detection limit; flyscan silicon; synchrotron
OSTI Identifier: