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Characterization of silicon for solar cells and microelectronics

Characterization of silicon for solar cells and microelectronics

SINTEF offers facilities for characterization of quality parameters of silicon for solar cells and electronics applications.

Our services and customers:
SINTEF is working closely with industrial customers and other research institutions in the field of silicon solar cells. We want to build fundamental competence as well as address specific, process-related challenges. Since we started the activity in 2000, we have built up a reserve of characterization equipment specifically for solar grade silicon. In addition, we use a number of generic methods that are useful for studies of solar grade silicon.

Examples of characterization methods we use:

  • Microstructure: Etching of defects in multi- and monocrystalline silicon: automatic quantification (PVScan) and manual analysis. Crystal orientation and grain boundaries by means of EBSD, Laue x-ray and TEM.
  • Contaminants: Oxygen and carbon content by means of FTIR, IGFA / CIA. Mass spectrometry (GDMS, ICP-MS), Auger microscopy, EPMA / EDS, XRF / XPS
  • Mechanical properties: Bending Testing (wafers), hardness (impression), tension (high-temperature)
  • Electrical characteristics: Lifetime (CDI, μW-PCD, QSSPC / TPC), conductivity (4-point probe and eddy-current scanning), PL-scanning (band-to-band, high resolution), Lateral Photovoltage Scanning (LPS), EBIC, LBIC

Typical assignments for us are:

  • Combined crystallization and characterization mission: We create a crystal in one of our crystallization furnaces according to customer orders, and characterizes the relevant material properties
  • Analysis of externally produced samples
  • Collaborations between industry and research institutions, supported by the Research Council or the EU
Senior Researcher