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Effects of photon reabsorption phenomena in confocal micro-photoluminescence measurements in crystalline silicon

Abstract : Confocal micro-photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy has become a powerful characterization technique for studying novel photovoltaic (PV) materials and structures at the micrometer level. In this work, we present a comprehensive study about the effects and implications of photon reabsorption phenomena on confocal micro-PL measurements in crystalline silicon (c-Si), the workhorse material of the PV industry. First, supported by theoretical calculations, we show that the level of reabsorption is intrinsically linked to the selected experimental parameters, i.e., focusing lens, pinhole aperture, and excitation wavelength, as they define the spatial extension of the confocal detection volume, and therefore, the effective photon traveling distance before collection. Second, we also show that certain sample properties such as the reflectance and/or the surface recombination velocity can also have a relevant impact on reabsorption. Due to the direct relationship between the reabsorption level and the spectral line shape of the resulting PL emission signal, reabsorption phenomena play a paramount role in certain types of micro-PL measurements. This is demonstrated by means of two practical and current examples studied using confocal PL, namely, the estimation of doping densities in c-Si and the study of back-surface and/or back-contacted Si devices such as interdigitated back contact solar cells, where reabsorption processes should be taken into account for the proper interpretation and quantification of the obtained PL data. Published by AIP Publishing.
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A. Roigé, J. Alvarez, Alexandre Jaffré, T. Desrues, D. Muñoz, et al.. Effects of photon reabsorption phenomena in confocal micro-photoluminescence measurements in crystalline silicon. Journal of Applied Physics, American Institute of Physics, 2017, 121 (6), ⟨10.1063/1.4975476⟩. ⟨hal-01632885⟩

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