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Integrated Measurements and Characterization Capabilities

The Integrated Measurements and Characterization cluster tool in the Process Development and Integration Laboratory offers powerful capabilities with integrated tools for measuring and characterizing photovoltaic materials and devices. Contact Pete Sheldon for more details on these capabilities.

Basic Cluster Tool Capabilities


Sample Handling

  1. Ultra-high-vacuum robot
  2. Transport pod: allows inter-tool transfer of samples

Measurements and Characterization

  1. Open port
  2. Sputter-plasma diagnostic tool
  3. Transient lifetime mapping tool
  4. Photoluminescence and infrared lifetime imaging tool
  5. Auger electron spectroscopy system—This capability is also moveable; by changing a few connections, it can be interchanged between tools, such as the Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide cluster tool.
  6. Spectroscopic ellipsometry tool

Industry Tool

  1. Open port for adding an industry tool

The figure shows where tools or techniques—numbered in the list above—are physically located on the eight ports around the central chamber. A robotic arm moves samples from one technique to another within the cluster tool. View a short animated video that explains seven terms related to sample measurements in the PDIL.

Schematic overhead drawing of the integrated measurements and characterization cluster tool. The large circular central robotic chamber is surrounded by eight attached units that consist of various techniques to measure optoelectrical, structural, and compositional characteristics of samples. Each unit is labeled with its function and these labels are included in the list above on the Web page. A four-color bar below the diagram is a key to the class of capabilities of individual tools. Yellow shows sample handling; green shows material deposition or device fabrication; blue shows processing; and purple shows measurements and characterization.

Schematic of the Integrated Measurements and Characterization cluster tool indicating the function of its eight ports. The color bar is a key to the basic class of each capability.

Other Measurements and Characterization Capabilities

The capabilities of the Integrated Measurements and Characterization cluster tool are supplemented by the Stand-Alone Measurements and Characterization techniques available elsewhere in the Process Development and Integration Laboratory. Samples from the Integrated Measurements and Characterization cluster tool can be transported to these other technique tools using the mobile transport pod, which can keep samples under vacuum conditions.

Other stand-alone measurements and characterization capabilities exist within the National Center for Photovoltaics, but are located in laboratories outside the PDIL. These capabilities can be found on the NREL Measurements and Characterization Web site.