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Spectral dependence of carrier lifetimes in silicon for photovoltaic applications



John F. Roller, Yu-Tai Li, Mario Dagenais, Behrang H. Hamadani


Charge carrier lifetimes in photovoltaic-grade silicon wafers were measured by a spectral-dependent, quasi-steady-state photoconductance technique. Narrow bandwidth LEDs were used to excite excess charge carriers within the material, and the effective lifetimes of these carriers were measured as a function of wavelength and intensity. The dependence of the effective lifetime on the excitation wavelength was then analyzed within the context of an analytical model relating effective lifetime to the bulk lifetime and surface recombination velocity of the material. The agreement between the model and the experimental data provides validation for this technique to be used at various stages of the solar cell production line to investigate the quality of the passivation layers and the bulk properties of the material.
Journal of Applied Physics


charge carrier lifetime, photovoltaics, photoconductance, surface recombination


Roller, J. , Li, Y. , Dagenais, M. and Hamadani, B. (2016), Spectral dependence of carrier lifetimes in silicon for photovoltaic applications, Journal of Applied Physics, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created December 21, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018