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Imaging Open Circuit Voltage in Solar Cells with Nanoscale Resolution

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Abstract

A primary parameter determining the power efficiency of any solar cell technology is the open circuit voltage (Voc), which is an indirect measurement of carrier recombination within the material. Identifying and spatially resolving where recombination takes place in micron-scale and nanostructured photovoltaics is crucial to the design of solar cells with enhanced radiative recombination and, therefore, improved performance. However, the existing scanning probe microscopy techniques are not sufficient to neither map Voc nor predict the local optical properties of solar cell devices. Here, we present a new technique based on Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) to image and spatially resolve the Voc of solar cells with truly nanoscale resolution. In KPFM we measure the difference between the work function of the conductive tip and the surface of the material to be analyzed.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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