Imaging solar cells using terahertz waves

Kayra, Seda
In this thesis, Terahertz Time-Domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) was used in order to measure the electrical properties of silicon solar cells. The advantage of THz-TDS is that it allows us to measure the electrical properties without electrical contacts. In order to perform these measurements, a reflection based system was constructed and the changes in the peak amplitude in the time-domain under a, 450mW 808 nm continuous wave laser source were measured. The solar cell that was used in this thesis was manufactured in Middle East Technical University Microelectromechanical Systems (METU-MEMS) research laboratories located in Ankara, Turkey. The solar cell that we used in the measurements had a thickness of 0.45 mm and was produced on a single silicon crystal in <100> direction. It is made up of a p-type base and n-type emitter to create p-n junction. Also, it has a Si4N3 AR coating and Al back contacts on it. To compare the THz measurements to that of electrical measurements, some electrical contact measurements were performed on the solar cell under laser illumination. By using these measurements, the energy conversion efficiency and the quantum efficiency of the solar cell were calculated and measured as 3.44 % and 7%, respectively under the 450mW, 808nm illumination on a specific area of the cell. The results that were obtained form the electrical measurements were compared with the THz results. We found that in order to understand the efficiency of the solar cell using THz-TDRS, a more comprehensive study needs to be done where the changes in the reflection of the THz radiation under different excitation powers and different configurations of the system need to be studied.