Written by scientists from leading institutes in Germany, USA and Spain who use these techniques as the core of their scientific work and who have a precise idea of what is relevant for photovoltaic devices, this text contains concise and comprehensive lecture-like chapters on specific research methods.
They focus on emerging, specialized techniques that are new to the field of photovoltaics yet have a proven relevance. However, since new methods need to be judged according to their implications for photovoltaic devices, a clear introductory chapter describes the basic physics of thin-film solar cells and modules, providing a guide to the specific advantages that are offered by each individual method.
The choice of subjects is a representative cross-section of those methods enjoying a high degree of visibility in recent scientific literature. Furthermore, they deal with specific device-related topics and include a selection of material and surface/interface analysis methods that have recently proven their relevance. Finally, simulation techniques are presented that are used for ab-initio calculations of relevant semiconductors and for device simulations in 1D and 2D.
For students in physics, solid state physicists, materials scientists, PhD students in material sciences, materials institutes, semiconductor physicists, and those working in the semiconductor industry, as well as being suitable as supplementary reading in related courses.
- Uwe Rau is full professor at RWTH Aachen (Faculty Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, chair of photovoltaics) since 2007 and is head of the energy research IEF-55 photovoltaic institute at the research center in Julich. He obtained his PhD 1991 from Physical Institute of the University Tubingen (Prof. Huebener) and was scientific group leader from 1995-2007 at the University Bayreuth and Stuttgart.
- Daniel Abou-Ras is senior scientist at the Helmholtz Center Berlin for Materials and Energy. He obtained his PhD at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. In 2005, he earned the MRS Graduate Student Gold Award at the MRS Spring Meeting. His research interests are scanning as well as transmission electron microscopy techniques applied on thin-film solar cells. Dr. Abou-Ras has organized various Young Scientist Tutorials on characterization techniques for thin film solar cells held at MRS and E-MRS Meetings.
- Thomas Kirchartz is a scientist at the Institute of Energy at the research center in Julich. He obtained his Dipl. Ing. degree from the University of Stuttgart for work on the electroluminescence of solar cells in 2006 and his Dr. Ing. from the RWTH Aachen in 2009 for work on a detailed balance theory of solar cells. Dr. Kirchartz participated as instructor in two Young Scientist Tutorials on characterization techniques for thin film solar cells and was awarded a Graduate Student Award of the European Material Research Society.
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