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Photovoltaic characterization of PV solar cells

Characterization is a critical part in the research of novel solar cells and photovoltaic (PV) materials. Because the PV properties can be affected at small scales, it is important to be able to characterize these devices locally.

This application note reports on using Imina Technologies miBot micromanipulators to carry out typical photovoltaic characterization of solar cells. A custom apparatus is described to bring laser light coupled in an optical fiber above the sample surface, while electrical probes contact the device, all three using miBots to control the movements.

The first experiment is in determining the current-voltage characteristics of the samples using a forward bias under illuminated conditions. These characteristics were measured using an Agilent/HP 4156A semiconductor parameter analyzer.

The second experiment seeks to examine the uniformity of the PV devices by measuring the current while the laser spot is moved along the sample in a line.

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Imina Technologies' application engineer shows a colleague how to land probes on nanoscale contacts for in-situ SEM transistor characterization.