Photovoltaic Cell Metrology & Testing

Solar cells, also called photovoltaic cells, are designed to convert solar energy directly into electricity.  This process occurs when sunlight hits a PV cell, is absorbed and and reaction of events creates a current flow.  There are many designs of such cells and an enormous amount of development effort is currently taking place.  Development includes advances in the traditional crystalline silicon PV cells, thin film PV cells, continuous printing processes and such optical compenents as super- and sub-strates, protective glasses and concentrator modules. Due to such diverse designs and the desire to optimize these devices, flexible tools are required to test them both for development and for quality control purposes.

The CRAIC Technologies™ microspectrophotometer allows for rapid, non-destructive and non-contact testing and quality control of photovoltaic cells and other components of photovoltaic panels (such as concentrator transmissivity).  These systems are capable of measurements of micron sized areas in both reflectance and transmittance as well as the determination of thin film thickness. CRAIC instruments can also measure polarization anisotropy, optical emissions and even luminescence. These flexible tools are equally at home in the R&D laboratory, the fab floor or the failure analysis facility. Currently, CRAIC solutions are used for film thickness measurement of semiconductors, contamination analysis of precision components and even the reflectivity of coal. 

To learn more about photovoltaic cell quality control and how microspectrophotometers do it, select one of the following links: 

Science of Microspectrophotometry

Microspectrophotometer Design 

The lit octogonal head, the lit microscope base and the 20/20 Solar™  are trademarks of CRAIC Technologies, Inc.