BT Imaging Pty Ltd

Surry Hills, Australia

BT Imaging Pty Ltd

Surry Hills, Australia
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Embodiments of methods and systems for identifying or determining spatially resolved properties in indirect bandgap semiconductor devices such as solar cells are described. In one embodiment, spatially resolved properties of an indirect bandgap semiconductor device are determined by externally exciting the indirect bandgap semiconductor device to cause the indirect bandgap semiconductor device to emit luminescence (110), capturing images of luminescence emitted from the indirect bandgap semiconductor device in response to the external excitation (120), and determining spatially resolved properties of the indirect bandgap semiconductor device based on a comparison of relative intensities of regions in one or more of the luminescence images (130).


Patent
Bt Imaging Pty Ltd | Date: 2014-12-05

Methods are presented for improved detection of persistent or systematic defects induced during the manufacture of a product. In particular, the methods are directed to the detection of defects induced systematically in the manufacture of photovoltaic cells and modules. Images acquired from a number of samples are combined, enhancing the systematic defects and suppressing random features such as variations in material quality. Once a systematic defect is identified, steps can be taken to locate and rectify its cause.


Patent
Bt Imaging Pty Ltd. | Date: 2015-07-22

A method (1) is disclosed whereby luminescence images are captured (2) from as-cut or partially processed bandgap materials such as multicrystalline silicon wafers. These images are then processed (3) to provide information about defects such as dislocations within the bandgap material. The resultant information is then utilised (4) to predict various key parameters of a solar cell manufactured from the bandgap material, such as open circuit voltage and short circuit current. The information may also be utilised to apply a classification to the bandgap material. The methods can also be used to adjust or assess the effect of additional processing steps, such as annealing, intended to reduce the density of defects in the bandgap materials.


Patent
Bt Imaging Pty Ltd. | Date: 2013-07-05

Methods and systems are presented for analysing semiconductor materials as they progress along a production line, using photoluminescence images acquired using line-scanning techniques. The photoluminescence images can be analysed to obtain spatially resolved information on one or more properties of said material, such as lateral charge carrier transport, defects and the presence of cracks. In one preferred embodiment the methods and systems are used to obtain series resistance images of silicon photovoltaic cells without making electrical contact with the sample cell.


Embodiments of methods and systems for identifying or determining spatially resolved properties in indirect bandgap semiconductor devices such as solar cells are described. In one embodiment, spatially resolved properties of an indirect bandgap semiconductor device are determined by externally exciting the indirect bandgap semiconductor device to cause the indirect bandgap semiconductor device to emit luminescence (110), capturing images of luminescence emitted from the indirect bandgap semiconductor device in response to the external excitation (120), and determining spatially resolved properties of the indirect bandgap semiconductor device based on a comparison of relative intensities of regions in one or more of the luminescence images (130).


Methods are presented for separating the effects of background doping density and effective minority carrier lifetime on photoluminescence (PL) generated from semiconductor materials. In one embodiment the background doping density is measured by another technique, enabling PL measurements to be analysed in terms of effective minority carrier lifetime. In another embodiment the effective lifetime is measured by another technique, enabling PL measurements to be analysed in terms of background doping density. In another embodiment, the effect of background doping density is removed by calculating intensity ratios of two PL measurements obtained in different spectral regions, or generated by different excitation wavelengths. The methods are particularly useful for bulk samples such as bricks or ingots of silicon, where information can be obtained over a much wider range of bulk lifetime values than is possible with thin, surface-limited samples such as silicon wafers. The methods may find application in solar cell manufacturing.


Methods (600) and systems (100) for inspecting an indirect bandgap semiconductor structure (140) are described. A light source (110) generates light (612) suitable for inducing photoluminescence in the indirect bandgap semiconductor structure (140). A short-pass filter unit (114) reduces long-wavelength light of the generated light above a specified emission peak. A collimator (112) collimates (616) the light. A large area of the indirect bandgap semiconductor structure (140) is substantially uniformly and simultaneously illuminated (618) with the collimated, short-pass filtered light. An image capture device (130) captures (620) images of photoluminescence simultaneously induced by the substantially uniform, simultaneous illumination incident across the large area for the indirect bandgap semiconductor structure. The photoluminescence images are image processed (622) to quantify spatially resolved specified electronic properties of the indirect bandgap semiconductor structure (140) using the spatial variation of the photoluminescence induced in the large area.


Patent
Bt Imaging Pty Ltd | Date: 2012-08-10

Photoluminescence-based methods are presented for facilitating alignment of wafers during metallisation in the manufacture of photovoltaic cells with selective emitter structures, and in particular for visualising the selective emitter structure prior to metallisation. In preferred forms the method is performed in-line, with each wafer inspected after formation of the selective emitter structure to identify its location or orientation. The information gained can also be used to reject defective wafers from the process line or to identify a systematic fault or inaccuracy with the process used to form the patterned emitter structure. Each wafer can additionally be inspected via photoluminescence imaging after metallisation, to determine whether the metal contacts have been correctly positioned on the selective emitter structure. The information gained after metallisation can also be used to provide feedback to the upstream process steps.


Methods are presented for separating the effects of background doping density and effective minority carrier lifetime on photoluminescence (PL) generated from semiconductor materials. In one embodiment the background doping density is measured by another technique, enabling PL measurements to be analysed in terms of effective minority carrier lifetime. In another embodiment the effective lifetime is measured by another technique, enabling PL measurements to be analysed in terms of background doping density. In another embodiment, the effect of background doping density is removed by calculating intensity ratios of two PL measurements obtained in different spectral regions, or generated by different excitation wavelengths. The methods are particularly useful for bulk samples such as bricks or ingots of silicon, where information can be obtained over a much wider range of bulk lifetime values than is possible with thin, surface-limited samples such as silicon wafers. The methods may find application in solar cell manufacturing.


Patent
Bt Imaging Pty Ltd | Date: 2015-04-13

Methods and systems are presented for acquiring photoluminescence images (2) of silicon solar cells and wafers (4) as they progress along a manufacturing line (36). In preferred embodiments the images are acquired while maintaining motion of the samples. In certain embodiments photoluminescence is generated with short pulse, high intensity excitation, (8) for instance by a flash lamp (50) while in other embodiments images are acquired in line scanning fashion. The photoluminescence images can be analysed to obtain information on average or spatially resolved values of one or more sample properties such as minority carrier diffusion length, minority carrier lifetime, dislocation defects, impurities and shunts, or information on the incidence or growth of cracks in a sample.

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