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Bruker’s precision metrology fuels solar research and process control.

Quality control to maximize efficiency is critical in the competitive photovoltaic industry. For some time solar texture has been thought to qualitatively affect solar cell efficiency. However, through large-area, 3D measurements and areal feature parameters, quantitative correlation of texture to efficiency has only recently been obtained. We now know that ISO 3D surface parameters linearly correlate with solar cell efficiency.

Bruker’s 3D microscopes provide the subnanometer vertical resolution over large fields of view necessary for this correlation, and can measure rapidly at junctions or other critical areas to more fully characterize the lines and better control the properties of the solar cell. In addition, Bruker’s stylus profilers offer a rapid check of linewidth and height over one or more sections of the sample.

The efficiency, stability and operational lifetime of photovoltaic devices has recently improved. With a better understanding of the chemical composition, microstructure, defects and contamination, the overall opto-electronic performance of solar cells can be further enhanced to address the global energy problem. This can be done using Bruker's state of the art electron microscope analyzers.

Numerous semiconductor devices such as solar cells are nowadays made up of multiple layers. To investigate such layered systems in the final product, Bruker's micro-XRF solution allows to simultaneously measure the layers thickness and their compositions.