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Application of Microwave Scanning Probes to Photovoltaic Materials



Kristine A. Bertness, John B. Schlager, Norman A. Sanford, Atif A. Imtiaz, Thomas M. Wallis, Joel C. Weber, Pavel Kabos, Lorelle M. Mansfield


We demonstrate that near field scanning microwave microscopy (NSMM) can be used to detect photoresponse in photovoltaic materials with potential for submicrometer resolution. In this approach, a radio-frequency scanning tunneling microscopy (RF-STM) tip is coupled to a resonant microwave cavity with a resonance near 4.5 GHz. The presence of additional mobile carriers in the vicinity of the probe tip changes the load on the cavity. These changes are quantified through the shifts in both the resonance frequency and quality factor Q0. The changes in conductivity under illumination with blue light are easily detected for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and GaAs solar cell test material.
Proceedings Title
Thirty-fifth IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
Conference Dates
June 20-25, 2010
Conference Location
Honolulu, HI


microwave scanning probe, solar cells


Bertness, K. , Schlager, J. , Sanford, N. , Imtiaz, A. , Wallis, T. , Weber, J. , Kabos, P. and Mansfield, L. (2010), Application of Microwave Scanning Probes to Photovoltaic Materials, Thirty-fifth IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Honolulu, HI, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created June 20, 2010, Updated November 10, 2018