Synchrotron-based characterization of solar cell nanodefects

M. I. Bertoni, D. P. Fenning, V. Rose, M. Holt, J. Maser, T. Buonassisi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


It is accepted throughout the photovoltaic community that the overall performance of entire modules is regulated by inhomogeneously distributed nanoscale defects inside the wafers. Over the years a variety of techniques have been used to map and characterize precipitates, grain boundaries and dislocations. However, in the race to achieve higher and higher resolutions, while studying industry-relevant material, many of these techniques fall short either due to the inherent resolution limitations of the equipment or because the combination of low defect spatial densities and strong heterogeneity, present a challenge to sample preparation and characterization. In this work, we discuss the future of synchrotron-based nanoprobe techniques for identifying defects in large volumes of commercial solar cell materials. We describe a state-of-the-art X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) nanoprobe beamline to identify the precise nature of performance-limiting defects in commercial mc-Si solar cells. For the first time, XRF with a beam spot size < 100 nm is used to characterize the contamination levels in solar cell materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgram - 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011
Number of pages3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Jun 19 2011Jun 24 2011

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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