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Cross-Sectional Investigations on Epitaxial Silicon Solar Cells by Kelvin and Conducting Probe Atomic Force Microscopy: Effect of Illumination

Abstract : Both surface photovoltage and photocurrent enable to assess the effect of visible light illumination on the electrical behavior of a solar cell. We report on photovoltage and photocurrent measurements with nanometer scale resolution performed on the cross section of an epitaxial crystalline silicon solar cell, using respectively Kelvin probe force microscopy and conducting probe atomic force microscopy. Even though two different setups are used, the scans were performed on locations within 100-μm distance in order to compare data from the same area and provide a consistent interpretation. In both measurements, modifications under illumination are observed in accordance with the theory of PIN junctions. Moreover, an unintentional doping during the deposition of the epitaxial silicon intrinsic layer in the solar cell is suggested from the comparison between photovoltage and photocurrent measurements.
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Paul Narchi, José Alvarez, Pascal Chrétien, Gennaro Picardi, Romain Cariou, et al.. Cross-Sectional Investigations on Epitaxial Silicon Solar Cells by Kelvin and Conducting Probe Atomic Force Microscopy: Effect of Illumination. Nanoscale Research Letters, SpringerOpen, 2016, 11 (1), pp.55. ⟨10.1186/s11671-016-1268-1⟩. ⟨hal-01266681⟩

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