Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

A near-field scanning microwave microscope for characterization of inhomogeneous photovoltaics

Published

Author(s)

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

Abstract

We present a near field scanning microwave microscope (NSMM) optimized for imaging photovoltaic samples. Our system incorporates a cut Pt-Ir tip inserted into an open ended coaxial cable to form a weak resonator, allowing the microwave reflection S11 signal to be measured across a sample over the 1 – 5 GHz range. A phase tuning circuit increases impedance measurement sensitivity by allowing for precise tuning of the S11 minimum down to -78 dBm. Integration of a bias tee and preamplifier enables the simultaneous acquisition of the DC tip-sample current measurement while a tuning fork feedback system provides simultaneous topographical measurement. Light-free tuning fork feedback enables accurate characterization of photovoltaic samples under both dark and illuminated conditions. The NSMM is demonstrated on an inhomogeneous, third generation Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) 17 % efficient sample in the dark state as well as when illuminated by a 405 nm diode laser. In the illuminated state, the S11 and DC current features are found to spatially broaden around grain boundaries. The broadening is attributed to the presence of additional minority charge carriers under illumination. These images demonstrate our NSMM’s ability to more completely characterize and resolve nano-scale electromagnetic features of novel photovoltaics at microwave frequencies.
Citation
Review of Scientific Instruments
Volume
83
Created August 10, 2012, Updated January 27, 2020