In the testing of photovoltaic materials and modules, failure analysis provides insights into the specific mechanism of
performance breakdown and offers opportunities to improve performance by materials or process modification. We
review various analytical methods applied to photovoltaic modules and test structures to better understand the nature of
failure, including several methods not previously discussed in failure analysis literature as applied to photovoltaic
devices. Included in this discussion will be the use of environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and x-ray
microtomography to investigate the failure mechanism in electrical impulse testing of a candidate PV module.