Instantaneous evaluation of Si crystal substrates for its suitability as solar cells: Development of Current-Modulating Four-Point-Probe (CMR) Method


 Dr. Wugen Pan et al. of the Institute for Materials Research at Tohoku University has developed a new method to evaluate the quality of Si crystal substrates for solar cells. The energy conversion efficiency of Si solar cells is highly dependent on the heterogeneity, as in the distribution of any defects or impurities, of the Si crystal substrates. Until now, there were no measurement methods to evaluate the eterogeneity of the substrate and utilize the results to predict its suitability as solar cells. This newly developed
evaluation method is unprecedented in measuring the heterogeneity present in the Si crystal substrate and capable of determining its suitability without actually producing the solar cell itself. This method can also be used, not only in evaluating the substrates, but can also be used to evaluate the quality of the solar cell manufacturing technology. This technology will contribute toward new developments in
in the solar cell industry, reducing costs and increasing efficiency of next generation silicon solar cells.
 The research results are scheduled for publication in the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters 103,
043903 (2013).

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