RECOVERY ACT: MULTIMODAL IMAGING FOR SOLAR CELL MICROCRACK DETECTION

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Undetected microcracks in solar cells are a principal cause of failure in service due to subsequent weather exposure, mechanical flexing or diurnal temperature cycles. Existing methods have not been able to detect cracks early enough in the production cycle to prevent inadvertent shipment to customers. This program, sponsored under the DOE Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies program, studied the feasibility of quantifying surface micro-discontinuities by use of a novel technique, thermoreflectance imaging, to detect surface temperature gradients with very high spatial resolution, in combination with a suite of conventional imaging methods such as electroluminescence. The project carried out laboratory ... continued below

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Hudgings, Janice & Domash, Lawrence February 8, 2012.

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Undetected microcracks in solar cells are a principal cause of failure in service due to subsequent weather exposure, mechanical flexing or diurnal temperature cycles. Existing methods have not been able to detect cracks early enough in the production cycle to prevent inadvertent shipment to customers. This program, sponsored under the DOE Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies program, studied the feasibility of quantifying surface micro-discontinuities by use of a novel technique, thermoreflectance imaging, to detect surface temperature gradients with very high spatial resolution, in combination with a suite of conventional imaging methods such as electroluminescence. The project carried out laboratory tests together with computational image analyses using sample solar cells with known defects supplied by industry sources or DOE National Labs. Quantitative comparisons between the effectiveness of the new technique and conventional methods were determined in terms of the smallest detectable crack. Also the robustness of the new technique for reliable microcrack detection was determined at various stages of processing such as before and after antireflectance treatments. An overall assessment is that the new technique compares favorably with existing methods such as lock-in thermography or ultrasonics. The project was 100% completed in Sept, 2010. A detailed report of key findings from this program was published as: Q.Zhou, X.Hu, K.Al-Hemyari, K.McCarthy, L.Domash and J.Hudgings, High spatial resolution characterization of silicon solar cells using thermoreflectance imaging, J. Appl. Phys, 110, 053108 (2011).

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  • Report No.: Final Report Rev 3
  • Grant Number: EE0000582
  • DOI: 10.2172/1034417 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1034417
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc829958

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  • February 8, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 15, 2016, 4:10 p.m.

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Hudgings, Janice & Domash, Lawrence. RECOVERY ACT: MULTIMODAL IMAGING FOR SOLAR CELL MICROCRACK DETECTION, report, February 8, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc829958/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.