Sinton Instruments Publications

Commonly Cited Lifetime Tester Papers

  • D.E. Kane, and R.M. Swanson, “Measurement of the Emitter Saturation Current by a Contactless Photoconductivity Decay Method,” Proc of the 18th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, pp. 578-583, 1985.Classic reference for a method to separate bulk recombination from dopant diffusion recombination on lightly-doped wafers using the injection-level dependence of lifetime.
  • R.A. Sinton, and R.M. Swanson, “Recombination in highly injected silicon (solar cells),” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices (USA), vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 1380-9, Jun 1987. download PDF of paper (296 KB)Determination of the ambipolar recombination coefficient at 1.66e-30 cm6/s +or-15%.
  • R.A. Sinton, A. Cuevas, and M. Stuckings, “Quasi-Steady-State Photoconductance, A New Method for Solar Cell Material and Device Characterization,” Proc of the 25th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, pp. 457-460, 1996. download PDF of paper (404 KB)First major reference for QSSPC photoconductance method.
  • A.S. Cuevas, and R.A. Sinton, “Prediction of the open-circuit voltage of solar cells from the steady-state photoconductance,” Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 79-90, Mar.-Apr. 1997.Tutorial-style paper concerning applications of QSSPC measurements to solar cells.
  • D.K. Schroder, “Carrier Lifetimes in Silicon,” IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 160-170, 1997.
  • C. Berge, J. Schmidt, B. Lenkeit, H. Nagel, and A.G. Aberle, “Comparison of Effective Carrier Lifetimes in Silicon Determined by Transient and Quasi-Steady-State Photoconductance Measurements,” 2nd World Conference on Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion, pp. 1426-1429, 1998.
  • H. Nagel, C. Berge, and A.G. Aberle, “Generalized analysis of quasi-steady-state and quasi-transient measurements of carrier lifetimes in semiconductors,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 86, no. 11, pp. 6218-6221, Dec 1999.The math for analyzing data using the fully time dependent solutions rather than the steady-state or transient limits.
  • J. Schmidt, “Measurement of differential and actual recombination parameters on crystalline silicon wafers,” IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, vol. 46, no. 10, pp. 2018-2025, Oct. 1999.
  • M. Bail, and R. Brendel, “Separation of Bulk and Surface Recombination by Steady State Photoconductance Measurements,” Proc of the 16th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, May 2000.A very nice application note for using 2 wavelengths of light for separating surface and bulk recombination.
  • A. Cuevas, M. Kerr, D. Macdonald, and R.A. Sinton, “Emitter quantum efficiency from contactless photoconductance measurements,” Conference Record of the Twenty-Eighth IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, pp. 108-11, Sep 2000.
  • D. MacDonald, and A. Cuevas, “Reduced fill factors in multicrystalline silicon solar cells due to injection-level dependent bulk recombination lifetimes,” Progress in Photovoltaics, vol. 8, pp. 363-375, 2000.Describes how changes in the bulk lifetime will lower the fill factor of multicrystalline silicon solar cells.
  • H. Nagel, B. Lenkeit, R.A. Sinton, A. Metz, and R. Hezel, “Relationship between effective carrier lifetimes in silicon determined under steady-state and transient illumination,” Proc of the 16th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, 2000.
  • A. Castaldini, D. Cavalcoli, A. Cavallini, M. Rossi, M. Spiegel, and T. Pernau, “Minority Carrier Lifetimes of Multicrystalline SI Obtained from Different Methods: A Comparison,” 17th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, pp. 1921-1924, Oct 2001.
  • R. Lago-Aurrekoetxea, I. Tobias, C. del Canizo, et al., “Lifetime measurements by photoconductance techniques in wafers immersed in a passivating liquid,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society, vol. 148, no. 4, pp. G200-G206, Apr. 2001.
  • D.H. Neuhaus, P.P. Altermatt, A.B. Sproul, R.A. Sinton, A. Schenk, A. Wang, and A.G. Aberle, “Method for measuring minority and majority carrier mobilities in solar cells wafers passivated with hydrogenated amorphous silicon films,” 17th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, pp. 242-245, Oct 2001.
  • R. Brendel, M. Bail, B. Bodmann, et al., “Analysis of photoexcited charge carrier density profiles in Si wafers by using an infrared camera,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 437-439, Jan 2002.
  • S. Rein, P. Lichtner, W. Warta, and S.W. Glunz, “Advanced Defect Characterization by Combining Temperature- and Injection-Dependent Lifetime Spectroscopy (TDLA and IDLS),” Conference Record of the Twenty Ninth IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, pp. 190-193, 2002.
  • S. Rein, T. Rehrl, W. Warta, and S. W. Glunz, “Lifetime spectroscopy for defect characterization: Systematic analysis of the possibilities and restrictions,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 91, no. 3, pp. 2059, Feb 2002.
  • A. Cuevas, and R. Sinton, “Characterization and Diagnosis of Silicon Wafers and Devices,” Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics: Fundamentals and Applications, Tom Markvart and Luis Castaner, Editors, Elsevier, Ltd., 2003.Overview of QSSPC analysis and applications in a handbook format.
  • J. Schmidt, “Temperature- and injection-dependent lifetime spectroscopy for the characterization of defect centers in semiconductors,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 82, no. 13, pp. 2178-2180, Mar 2003.Generalization of QSSPC for temperature-dependent measurements.
  • D. H. Macdonald, L. J. Geerligs, and A. Azzizi, “Iron detection in crystalline silicon by carrier lifetime measurements for arbitrary injection and doping,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 1021, Feb 2004.A model application for QSSPC to study SRH bulk recombination with practical implications. Uses the lifetime tester to measure the iron concentration in silicon.
  • R. A. Sinton, T. Mankad, S. Bowden, and N. Enjalbert, “Evaluating Silicon Blocks and Ingots With Quasi-Steady-State Lifetime Measurements,” 19th European Photovoltaic Energy Conference, 2004. download PDF of paper (320 KB)Demonstrates how to measure iron concentration in silicon blocks and determine how the wafers will perform during processing.

Commonly Cited Suns-Voc Papers

  • M. Wolf, and H. Rauschenbach, “Series Resistance Effects on Solar Cell Measurements,” Advanced Energy Conversion, vol. 3, pp. 455-479, 1963. download PDF of paper (2.5 MB) The classic reference for using illumination-Voc curves for the analysis of solar cells.
  • A.G. Aberle, S.R. Wenham, and M.A. Green, “A New Method for the Accurate Measurements of the Lumped Series Resistance of Solar Cells,” Conference Record of the Twenty Third IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, pp. 133-138, 1993. Describes using series resistance measurements on modern high-efficiency devices and an explanation of two-dimensional effects.
  • R. A. Sinton, “Possibilities for Process-Control Monitoring of Electronic Material Properties During Solar Cell Manufacture,” NREL 9th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Materials and Processes, Aug 1999. Covers the practical use of SunsVoc and lifetime testers at various stages during cell processing.
  • R.A. Sinton, and A. Cuevas, “A Quasi-Steady-State Open-Circuit Voltage Method for Solar Cell Characterization,” 16th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, 2000. download PDF of paper (861 KB) The first major reference for the QSSVOC technique.
  • S. Bowden, and A. Rohatgi, “Rapid and Accurate Determination of Series Resistance and Fill Factor Losses in Industrial Silicon Solar Cells,” 17th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, pp. 1802-1806, Oct 2001. Comparison of the Suns-Voc method with curve fitting the double diode model.
  • M.J. Kerr, and A. Cuevas, “Generalisation of the illumination intensity vs. open-circuit voltage characteristics of solar cells,” 17th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, pp. 300-303, Oct 2001. Description of the SunsVoc measurement and correction for very high voltage devices.
  • M.J. Kerr, A. Cuevas, and R.A. Sinton, “Generalized analysis of quasi-steady-state and transient decay open circuit voltage measurements,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. 399-404, Jan 2002. Generalization of QSSVOC math to cover cases from Steady-state to OCVD (transient) measurements.
  • D.H. Neuhaus, N.P. Harder, S. Oelting, et al., “Dependence of the recombination in thin-film Si solar cells grown by ion-assisted deposition on the crystallographic orientation of the substrate,” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 74, pp. 225-232, Oct. 2002.
  • M.J. Kerr, and A. Cuevas, “Generalized analysis of the illumination intensity vs. open-circuit voltage of solar cells,” Solar Energy, vol. 76, no. 1-4, pp. 263-267, Jan.-Mar. 2004. Complete mathematical description of the SunsVoc measurement and correction for very high voltage devices.

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Application Notes Available

Sinton Instruments has a number of application notes available as reference for existing customers to assist you in optimizing your process and use of our instruments:

  • Measuring Fe:B Pairs in Silicon
  • Testing wafers after phosphorus diffusion or nitride
  • Testing bare wafers
  • Testing Silicon Ingot and Blocks with the Sinton BLS/BCT Instruments
  • Lifetime measurements on B-doped CZ bulk silicon with the BLS/BCT instruments

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