Materials Science

Studying optoelectronic properties of semiconductor thin-films at the nanoscale

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Priv.-Doz. Dr. Daniel Abou-Ras, Dr. Klaus Schwarzburg and Dr. rer. nat. Sebastian Schmitt work at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), a research centre that focuses on studying materials for a sustainable energy supply. Their research concerns mainly the development and analysis of semiconductor materials systems for optoelectronic devices. This work includes thin-film solar cells and devices for solar-fuel generation as well as nanophotonics.

Cathodoluminescence imaging is often used by Dr. Daniel Abou-Ras, Dr. Klaus Schwarzburg and Dr. Sebastian Schmitt to characterize and analyze various materials. Among other systems that the researchers use is SPARC Spectral, which helps them to study optoelectronic properties of semiconductor thin films at the nanoscale and also to analyze the spatial distribution of optical modes in photonic resonators. According to them SPARC Spectral, is a powerful analysis system, which provides them with high-quality insight into the optoelectronic properties of material systems.

The SPARC system is an elegant way to extend the microscopic analysis we perform using other methods.

The researchers are able to correlate the cathodoluminescence results with other characterization data on the identical specimen areas. For example, by performing electron backscatter diffraction and CL on identical areas, it is possible to characterize recombination at grain boundaries in polycrystalline thin films.

Moreover, by correlating CL and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, it is possible to identify phase distributions and their optoelectronic properties in semiconductor materials. Dr. Daniel Abou-Ras, Dr. Klaus Schwarzburg and Dr. Sebastian Schmitt also mention that they have used cathodoluminescence to study the spatial distribution of photonic whispering gallery modes in Si photonic resonators.

The researchers also acknowledge Delmic’s service and support.

We have very good experiences with the support by Delmic, the response time is short, and the service is always to our great satisfaction.

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Application note

Learn more about cathodoluminescence for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin-film solar cell

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