This Spotlight describes the methods used for the optical characterization and design of thin-film solar cells. A description of the cells under study (CdTe, CIGS, CZTS, Perovskite, and organic) is given, followed by coupling experimental and simulation studies in order to improve solar cell performances. A detailed discussion on specific optical tools (ellipsometry, photoluminescence and photoreflectance) is included, and a link between materials and measurements is made by studying the relevant physical principles. Finally, a numerical model is provided that can be used to design the structure of a thin-film solar cell.
This Spotlight focuses on optical tools, both experimental and simulation, to improve
the optical design of the thin-film solar cells. This approach provides a correct
prediction and validation of device performance. Obviously, this work, directly
related to the fields of optics and photonics, also involves the use of a more
comprehensive set of tools that includes structural (e.g., electronic microscopy,
x-ray scattering, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy,
and atomic force microscopy) or electrical techniques (e.g., conductance
measurements, Hall effect, and deep-level transient spectroscopy), which also
contribute to the improved elaboration of the solar cells. Some of these techniques,
although not described in this book, will be mentioned as related to our
studies on solar cells.