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Photovoltaic and Solar Cells

There are many types of solar cell including multi-junction, GaAs, crystalline silicon, thin film (e.g. CdTe), and a host of emerging technologies including organic photovoltaics (OPV), dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) Quantum Dots and Perovskites.  Efficiencies vary from over 40% to as low as 5% for some of the emerging technologies and therefore improvements to both efficiency and lifetime are the drivers in this field.

Measurement solutions from Princeton Applied Research and Solartron Analytical allow researchers to probe the fundamental characteristics of these cells. Our potentiostats/galvanostats and DC materials characterization tools can couple with third party solar simulators for I-V analysis including determination of cell efficiency, fill factor, Isc and Voc.

Transfer Function tests such as Intensity Modulated Photocurrent and Photovoltage spectroscopy (IMPS and IMVS) are available to test charge recombination, electron diffusion and other properties. The Solartron Analytical XM PhotoEchem system was designed specifically for these tests. In addition, the system offers an IPCE (Incident Photon to Current Efficiency) plug in module for spectral response characterization. The system offers 10 nm resolution, compliant with ASTM standards, and a wide bandwidth from 350 nm to 1100 nm. A white light bias is included as standard for the testing of large time constant cells such as DSSC’s.

Impedance tests are widely used to characterize solar cell performance, testing carrier concentrations, mobilities, trap states etc. Some cell technologies require high frequency analysis beyond 1 MHz and for these cells, Solartron Analytical Model 1260A Impedance Gain Phase Analyzer/Model 1296A Dielectric Interface System is ideal. The Model 1260A Impedance Gain Phase Analyzer is able to measure with great accuracy over 12 decades of frequency from 10 µHz to 32 MHz, making it highly suited to tests on high frequency materials. Coupled with the Model 1296A Dielectric Interface System dielectric interface, it is able to measure extremely high impedance / low capacitance samples using a highly sensitive femto ammeter and sample/reference measurement techniques.

The ModuLab XM ECS Test System with IPCE option is a highly configurable system that is closely matched to photovoltaic applications, providing a unique combination of high performance impedance / capacitance measurements using its built-in frequency response analyzer option, together with a wide range of fast DC measurement techniques including pulse, smooth ramp, staircase and arbitrary waveforms, allowing photovoltaic materials to be fully characterized in time and frequency domain.

The ModuLab XM MTS Test System has “plug and play” option modules including high voltage, 2A booster, femto ammeter and sample/reference, and is able to perform impedance, C-V and DC tests over the full range of those options. The system also provides multi-sine / harmonic analysis techniques for investigating material linearity or for reducing test time for low frequency investigations.