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Nanoscale characterization of photocurrent and photovoltage in polycrystalline solar cells



Nikolai Zhitenev, Dongheon Ha


We investigate the role of grain structures in nanoscale carrier dynamics of polycrystalline solar cells. By using Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) and near-field scanning photocurrent microscopy (NSPM) techniques, we characterize nanoscopic photovoltage and photocurrent patterns of inorganic CdTe and organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite solar cells. For CdTe solar cells, we evaluate the effect of sample preparation conditions on macro-/nanoscale photovoltaic properties. It is found that the CdTe sample annealed at a moderate temperature, 370 °C, shows the best macroscale cell efficiency. To understand nanoscale photo-response and the role of microscopic CdTe grain structures, we analyze nanoscale electric power generation patterns that are created by correlating nanoscale photovoltage and photocurrent maps on the same location. The same techniques are applied for characterization of a perovskite solar. It is found that a moderate amount of PbI2 near grain boundaries leads to the enhanced photo-generated carrier collections at grain boundaries. Finally, the capabilities and the limitations of the nanoscale techniques are discussed.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry C


solar cell, photovoltaics, nanoscale characterization


Zhitenev, N. and Ha, D. (2023), Nanoscale characterization of photocurrent and photovoltage in polycrystalline solar cells, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, [online],, (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created June 7, 2023, Updated June 22, 2023