Measuring and interpreting the lifetime of silicon wafers

Andrés Cuevas*, Daniel Macdonald

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    266 Citations (Scopus)


    The carrier lifetime is the most important electronic property of semiconductor materials for solar cells. In this paper we discuss traditional and novel methods for its experimental determination. Among the latter, the Quasi-steady-state photoconductance is particularly powerful since it permits measuring the injection level dependence of the lifetime. The analysis and interpretation of this dependence yields a wealth of information on the physical mechanisms that limit the performance of silicon solar cells. The effect of the surfaces of the silicon wafers, the emitter saturation current density and the Shockley-Read-Hall and Auger recombination mechanisms are explained and their possible determination from lifetime measurements discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-262
    Number of pages8
    JournalSolar Energy
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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