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Sensors 2010, 10(4), 4002-4009; doi:10.3390/s100404002

In Situ Roughness Measurements for the Solar Cell Industry Using an Atomic Force Microscope

1
Departamento de Ingeniería de los Recursos Naturales y del Medioambiente, ETS Ingeniería de Minas, Universidad de Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
2
Departamento de I+D, Laboratorio Oficial de Metroloxía de Galicia, Parque Tecnolóxico de Galicia, San Cibrao das Viñas, 32901 Ourense, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 January 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 7 April 2010 / Published: 20 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

Areal roughness parameters always need to be under control in the thin film solar cell industry because of their close relationship with the electrical efficiency of the cells. In this work, these parameters are evaluated for measurements carried out in a typical fabrication area for this industry. Measurements are made using a portable atomic force microscope on the CNC diamond cutting machine where an initial sample of transparent conductive oxide is cut into four pieces. The method is validated by making a comparison between the parameters obtained in this process and in the laboratory under optimal conditions. Areal roughness parameters and Fourier Spectral Analysis of the data show good compatibility and open the possibility to use this type of measurement instrument to perform in situ quality control. This procedure gives a sample for evaluation without destroying any of the transparent conductive oxide; in this way 100% of the production can be tested, so improving the measurement time and rate of production. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface metrology; atomic force microscopy; solar cell; transparent conductive oxide; areal roughness surface metrology; atomic force microscopy; solar cell; transparent conductive oxide; areal roughness
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

González-Jorge, H.; Alvarez-Valado, V.; Valencia, J.L.; Torres, S. In Situ Roughness Measurements for the Solar Cell Industry Using an Atomic Force Microscope. Sensors 2010, 10, 4002-4009.

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