Ron Sinton did his PhD work at Stanford University developing 28%-efficient silicon concentrator cells and 23% efficient backside-contact one-sun cells. He then continued this work by adapting the fabrication processes to be more industrial as a founding member of SunPower Corporation. After founding Sinton Instruments in 1992, he focused the company on bringing the systematic device physics approach that was used to develop very high-efficiency silicon solar cells to the design of test and measurement instruments for the broader Silicon field. He was involved in the development of many techniques that are commonly used today, such as the Suns-Voc technique and the methodology for extracting and reporting implied voltage from lifetime data. Sinton Instruments provides metrology for nearly all of the research labs and production facilities working in silicon PV technology. Ron enjoys blurring the boundaries between metrology and device physics in order to report parameters that are key inputs to physical models. He participates in conference program organization, especially the IEEE PVSC (1987-2008) and the annual NREL Silicon Workshop (1994-present). Ron received the Cherry Award at the 2014 IEEE PVSC.
Title and Abstract of the Speech:
Carrier recombination lifetime: Monitoring a critical parameter through the cell process
Sinton Instruments, USA
The carrier recombination lifetime in silicon is a critical parameter that can be monitored through the entire cell production process to indicate the material quality and the optimization of every process step. This talk will discuss how this lifetime parameter is related to the IV curve, and how a unified description can be used to interpret data at every step of the process in order to clearly identify the process steps where the most improvement can be made from wafer. This description is valid for each step where the wafer is passivated, at cell test, and at module test. More recently, applications have been reported for studying module-degradation mechanisms after fielding, as well as having the ability to isolate degradation mechanisms and their proposed solutions at the wafer, cell, and module level.