The field of photovoltaic keeps expanding and the variety of solar cells has never been that broad: from dye-sensitized and organic cells to thin films and multi-junctions cells, photovoltaic materials have seen their efficiencies grow considerably with the latest progress. Perovskite solar cells now reach near 20%  efficiency, approaching monocrystalline silicon . Despite the important advances in this field, the large-scale commercialization of most of the newcomers proves to be challenging. This can be in part attributed to non-uniformities in materials and difficulties to economically process cells over a large scale. In order to bring to the market the next generations of solar cells, researchers require performant and specialized measurement systems.
Researchers have to be able to see the big picture and study the spatial distribution of their materials’ properties. To answer that need, Photon etc has developed a hyperspectral imaging platform (IMA™) for solar cells analysis in collaboration with IRDEP (Institute of Research and Development on Photovoltaic Energy, France). This platform provides rapid electroluminescence (EL) and photoluminescence (PL) maps allowing the spatial study of defects, constraints and optoelectronic properties. The system was compared to a classical confocal microscope, showing significant gains in acquisition time.
Photoluminescence and electroluminescence mapping provide rapid quality control and allow studies of fundamental properties of photovoltaic films or devices. Those techniques have already been successfully used to characterize inhomogeneities in CIS and perovskite solar cells, and to obtain the spatial distribution of the quasi-fermi level splitting (Δμ) and the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of CIGS  and GaAs  solar cells. To obtain the latter, a patented method of the absolute spectral and photometric calibration was developed.
For more details and results from our collaborators, see the application notes below.
 Zhou HP, Chen Q, Li G, Luo S, Song TB, Duan HS, Hong ZR, You JB, Liu YS and Yang Y, Interface engineering of highly efficient perovskite solar cells, Science, 345(6196), 2014.
 Zhao J et al., 19.8 % efficient ‘honeycomb’ textured multicrystalline and 24.4 % monocrystalline silicon solar cells, Applied Physics Letters, 73, 1998.
 Delamarre A. , Paire M., Guillemoles J.-F. and Lombez L., Quantitative luminescence mapping of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin-film solar cells, Progress in Photovoltaics, 2014.
 A. Delamarre et al., Contactless mapping of saturation currents of solar cells by photoluminescence, Applied Physics Letters, 100, 2012.