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This content will become publicly available on February 13, 2019

Title: Imaging charge carriers in potential-induced degradation defects of c-Si solar cells by scanning capacitance microscopy

We report on nm-resolution imaging of charge-carrier distribution around local potential-induced degradation (PID) shunting defects using scanning capacitance microscopy. We imaged on cross sections of heavily field-degraded module areas, cored out and selected by mm-scale photoluminescence imaging. We found localized areas with abnormal carrier behavior induced by the PID defects: the apparent n-type carrier extends vertically into the absorber to ~1-2 um from the cell surface, and laterally in similar lengths; in defect-free areas, the n-type carrier extends ~0.5 um, which is consistent with the junction depth. For comparison, we also investigated areas of the same module exhibiting the least PID stress, and we found no such heavily damaged junction area. Instead, we found slightly abnormal carrier behavior, where the carrier-type inversion in the absorber did not occur, but the p-type carrier concentration changed slightly in a much smaller lateral length of ~300 nm. These nano-electrical findings may indicate a possible mechanism that the existing extended defects, which may not be significantly harmful to cell performance, can be changed by PID to heavily damaged junction areas.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Trina Solar, ChangZhou (China)
  3. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Ningbo (China)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0038-092X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Solar Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 162; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0038-092X
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; c-Si solar cell; potential-induced degradation; scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM); nano-electrical property
OSTI Identifier: