A one-of-a-kind DIY project could turn solar power into space

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“The basis of the technique is microscopy but merging it with frequency analysis. We use a laser beam and focus on a point and scan the device to measure the quality of the solar cell. This new method allows us allows you to do imaging analysis of whole or complete solar cells and watch how they perform, how they change with time and aging, and how good they are,” Laird said in a statement.

In addition to partners at Monash University, a team from Oxford University has already sent samples of state-of-the-art prototypes to be tested by Laird’s machine. Members of the University of Sydney working on experimental solar cells for satellites and other space vehicles are also on the waiting list.

“You can’t have a solar cell that breaks down quickly when it’s supposed to last 20 years in the field. It’s a missing link in the repertoire of techniques we need to launch to solve this problem,” Laird added. .

Summary of the study:

In this report, a large area laser beam induced current microscope that has been adapted to perform intensity modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS) in an imaging mode is described. The microscopy-based IMPS method provides spatial resolution of the solar cell’s frequency-domain response, allowing correlation of the optoelectronic response with a particular interface, bulk material, specific transport layer, or transport parameter . The system is applied to study the effects of degradation in back-contact perovskite cells where it is found to readily differentiate areas based on their markedly different frequency response. Using the diffusion-recombination model, the IMPS response is modeled for a sandwich structure and extended to the particular case of side diffusion in a back-contact cell. In the low-frequency limit, the model is used to calculate spatial maps of the carrier’s ambipolar scattering length. The observed frequency response of IMPS images is then discussed.

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