Photovoltaics

What do we mean by photovoltaics? First used in about 1890, the word has two parts: photo, derived from the Greek word for light, and volt, relating to electricity pioneer Alessandro Volta. So, photovoltaics could literally be translated as light-electricity. And that's what photovoltaic (PV) materials and devices do - they convert light energy into electrical energy (Photoelectric Effect), as French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovered as early as 1839.

Commonly known as solar cells, individual PV cells are electricity-producing devices made of semiconductor materials. PV cells come in many sizes and shapes - from smaller than a postage stamp to several inches across. They are often connected together to form PV modules that may be up to several feet long and a few feet wide. Modules, in turn, can be combined and connected to form PV arrays.

Did you know that PV systems are already an important part of our lives? Simple PV systems provide power for many small consumer items, such as calculators and wristwatches. More complicated systems provide power for communications satellites, water pumps, and the lights, appliances, and machines in some people's homes and workplaces. Many road and traffic signs along highways are now powered by PV. In many cases, PV power is the least expensive form of electricity for performing these tasks.

The HORIBA Group offers targeted solutions for the Photovoltaics industry. In the following you can see all applications related to this industry.

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Studying perovskite solar cells with HORIBA Scientific equipment
With their ~20 % efficiency, hybrid perovskite solar cells are the new promising candidate for next generation photovoltaics. Thanks to the wide HORIBA Scientific portfolio, different techniques can be used to gain in depth knowledge on the optoelectronic properties and mechanisms of this class of materials. In this application note we decided to use spectroscopic ellipsometry, steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence and Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy to investigate the properties of CH3NH3PbI3 thin films deposited on a spin-coated PEDOT:PSS. The impact of the exposure to air was addressed.
CIGS (CuIn1-xGaxSe2) thin films characterization
P3HT:PCBM Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells Characterization
Optical Characterization of ITO Films Prepared in Different Atmospheres
Electrical and optical properties of the small-angle grain boundaries (SA-GBs) in multicrystalline Silicon for solar cell
Determination of Perovskite Optical Constants
Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite materials have emerged over the past five years as promising absorber layers for new high-efficiency and low-cost solar cells that combine the advantages of organic and inorganic semiconductors. The increasing interest in this technology is pushing research laboratories to find the optimal techniques for the accurate characterization of opto-electronic properties of these materials.
Characterization of silicon nanoparticles (Si-nps) embedded in a silicon-nitride matrix
Dielectric Properties in Hybrid and Inorganic Perovskite Materials used for Photovoltaics Applications
Optical Characterization of CIGS by Spectroscopic Ellipsometry
Spectroscopic Ellipsometry is an efficient and non-destructive method for extracting optical constants of materials in the UV-VIS-NIR wavelength ranges. The optical constants (n,k) of a material are among the most important sets of optical data and are specific to the material being studied. During this webinar, you will learn how to define a strategy to perform quantitative Spectroscopic Ellipsometry on CIGS semiconducting thin films. CIGS is among the most efficient absorbers for photovoltaic solar conversion. Deployed as thin or ultra thin films, CIGS optical characterization is as important in its preparation stage as in the modeling of cell stacks. However the determination of CIGS optical constants is a very complex challenge, particularly for SE when it is used as a unique and direct experimental method.
Photoluminescence of Semiconductors
Photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) is a powerful optical method used for characterizing materials. PL can be used to find impurities and defects in silicon and group III-V element semiconductors, and to determine semiconductor band-gaps.
High-Resolution Low-Temperature PL of Semiconductors
Temperature-dependent photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy is a powerful optical method for characterizing materials. PL can be used to identify defects and impurities in Si and III-V semiconductors, as well as determine semiconductor bandgaps. At room temperature, PL emission is usually broad—up to 100 nm in width.
Photoluminescence and Photoreflectance
As a result of rapid development in semiconductor manufacturing, many types of optoelectronic devices such as laser diodes, LEDs, and high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) are now fabricated by epitaxial-growth methods.
Raman and PL Characterization of GaN
Gallium Nitride (GaN) is one of a generation of promising light-emitting materials. Its direct energy band gap of ~3.4 eV at room temperature make it particularly suitable for emission in the blue, and near UV spectral ranges. The material often exhibits high temperature stability and low electrical leakage, and hence GaN is generally a good candidate for fabricating high-temperature and high-power devices.
Characterization of Semiconductors with Photoluminescence Measurement System
Photoluminescence is the optical emission obtained by photon excitation (usually a laser) and is commonly observed with III-V semiconductor materials. This type of analysis allows non-destructive characterization of semiconductors (material composition, qualitative investigations, etc.
III-V Wafer Characterization through Photoluminescence Mapping
III-V semiconductors are important to the fabrication of active photonic devices such as light sources and detectors. Successful fabrication of such devices relies on the high quality of the underlying materials and precise deposition of intended geometries on a wafer substrate.
Room-temperature Micro-electroluminescent Characterization of Ge-based IR Sources
Monolithic integration of optical components on CMOS platforms is ongoing in the optical communications industry. CMOS offers a mature and robust platform, and therefore is logical for building optical-interconnect modules.
Photoluminescence Characterization of GaN Alloys and Other Semiconductor Microstructures
GaN and related alloys are important materials used to build short-wavelength light sources (lasers and LEDs). Room- and low-temperature photoluminescence (PL) are used to characterize these materials as well as device performance.
Measurement of carrier lifetime in perovskite for solar cell applications
Hybrid perovskite photovoltaics (PV) show promise because of their good efficiencies, which can be around 20%. Along with their PV characteristics, perovskite materials exhibit a high degree of radiative recombination.
Photoluminescence Lifetimes in NIR
Applications that involve photoluminescence (PL) measurements in NIR have been rapidly growing in recent years. The demand comes mainly from several areas in materials science, such as fiber optics telecommunication, solar energy conversion, lasing media, LED and OLED technologies, and development of upconversion nanoparticles for biomedical analyses and bioimaging.
Flat Panel Displays and Fluorescence
One of the fastest-growing segments of the semiconductor industry is concerned with a new generation of graphic displays for communications and high-definition television sets. For phosphors that might be used as the active medium in such displays, the critical characteristics are the lifetimes and wavelengths of their emissions.
Evaluation of Novel Photoresponsive Materials via EQE Measurements
Internal Quantum Efficiency (IQE) and External Quantum Efficiency (EQE) measurements are indicators of the effectiveness of a photosensitive device such as those used in telecommunications and solar cells. EQE is the ratio of the charges generated to the total amount of photons incident on the surface; a larger EQE indicates a more efficient device.
Upconversion of Lanthanide-containing glasses using DD‐980L excitation
The phenomenon of upconversion is an optical process that takes in lower energy (longer wavelength) photons and emits higher energy (shorter wavelength) photons.
Characterizing Lanthanides in Glasses for Optical Applications
Glasses are essential materials with a multitude of uses and many forms. In the area of optoelectronics there is an interest to modify the glass composition to favor the incorporation of lanthanide elements.
Characterization of photovoltaic devices by spectroscopic ellipsometry

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