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Real time optical monitoring of properties of silicon thin film solar panels

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Optical monitoring was performed during deposition of a variety of amorphous and polycrystalline silicon absorbers inside the chamber during solar panel manufacturing with the purpose of providing adaptive control of the film quality in real time. We monitored the specular and diffuse reflectance in a broad spectral region and at one fixed wavelength simultaneously. The results show optical constant and material bandgap inhomogeneity of the growing films as well as film thickness non-uniformity over the area of the panel. This information gives the manufacturer the ability to improve the film quality as it is being deposited, increase the panel conversion efficiency, improve manufacturing yield and reduce cost.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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