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Applied Physics Letters

  • Photovoltaics

On the Origin of the Spatial Inhomogeneity of Photoluminescence in Thin-Film CIGS Solar Devices

Authors Gilbert El-Hajje, Daniel Ory, Jean-François Guillemoles, and Laurent Lombez


In this letter, we investigate the origin of the spatial inhomogeneity of the photoluminescence (PL) intensity maps obtained on thin-film solar cells. Based on a hyperspectral imager setup, we record an absolute map of the quasi-Fermi level splitting Dl by applying the generalized Planck’s law. Then, using scanning confocal microscopy, we perform spatially and time-resolved photoluminescence measurements. This allowed us to quantify and map the micrometric fluctuations of the trapping defect density within these solar cells. Finally, we demonstrate the existence of a direct correlation between the spatial fluctuations of the quasi-Fermi level splitting and the trapping defect density. The latter was found to be correlated with the frequently reported spatially inhomogeneous PL maps of thin-film solar cells. Based on the observed correlation, we can quantify the local losses in quasi-Fermi level splitting induced by the spatial distribution of the trapping defects.

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