The know-how of two Fraunhofer institutes is combined in the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP): The Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS contributes its expertise in the field of the optimization and evaluation of silicon process technologies and module integration. The largest solar research institute in Europe, Fraunhofer ISE, offers its expertise in material production, solar cell and module development and characterization.

The Fraunhofer CSP advises and provides its scientific know-how and high-tech equipment for services.

This equipment and these methods are available at the Fraunhofer CSP:

Crystallization technology

„„Czochralski EKZ-2700
    Single crystals ≤9” (length: 70 cm)
    p-type / n-type material
    Residual gas analysis
    Recharging (optional)
„„2x Czochralski EKZ-3500
„„    Single crystals ≤9“ (length: 200 cm)
„„    Active crystal cooling
Thin rod drawing machine (DZA 3000)
    Thin rod length 240 cm
„„    Single crystals 4” (length: 130 cm)
    Single crystals up to 8”
„„    p-type, n-type
„„    G4 Hot-Zone (250 kg)
    Residual gas analysis (MKS)
„„    In-situ measurement of the crystallisation rate
Vacuum-induction melting machine (Steremat)
String Ribbon® furnace »Quad«
Crystal machining
„„    Ingot Shaper IS-160 MK-II
High-resolution optics for phase interface monitoring
GD-MS (ThermoScientific)
„Analysis of residual contamination within the ppb range
„„Pulsed source for increased spatial resolution
„„    Lateral photovoltage scanning with integrated photoluminescence

Micro-structure diagnostics

„Metallography, ion and laser beam-based preparation technique
„„Laser structuring and inkjet printing
„„Light microscopy (visible, NIR)
„„Analytical scanning electron microscopy with EDX, EBSD, EBIC
„„Transmission electron microscopy
Focussed ion beam systems
Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry
„„X-ray photoelectron spectrometry
Scanning probe microscopy
Microprobe electrical characterization
„„Ultrasound microscopy

Trace analysis

High-resolution ICP magnetic sector field mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)
„„CP optical emissions spectrometer (ICP-OES)
Microwave digestion system
Sample vaporizing unit
„„Laser ablation system (LA)
Electrothermal vaporizer (ETV)

Electrical characterisation

Injection-dependent charge carrier life (Si block, wafer)
Charge carrier lifetime mapping (Si block, wafer)
„„Conductivity measurements (4-point probe method, eddy current method)
Spatially resolved photoluminescence (Si block, wafer, cell)
Spatially resolved electroluminescence in cells
„„Light-induced local current in cells
„„Internal and external quantum efficiency of cells
Characterization of passivation layers
„„Doping profiles based on conductivity measurements
„„I-V characteristics and parameter determination for cells
„„Sun simulator
Processing of SiN and Al2O3 passivation layers (PECVD, ALD)


Squarer (wire-based) for separation of G4/G5 ingots into blocks 156 mm x 156 mm
Grinding machines for surface and bevel finishing of blocks
„„IR scanning system for the identification of SiC/SiN inclusions in blocks
Charge carrier lifetime and resistance measurement on blocks for electrical characterization and quality control
„„Cropper (wire-based) for cutting off the block end pieces
Bandsaw for squaring and cropping mono-ingots and for machining special formats
„„Wire saws (800 mm and 300 mm load length) for producing multi- and monocrystalline wafers
Precleaning system for detaching the wafer after sawing
„„Inline fine cleaning for final cleaning of the wafers
„„Inline measuring system with sorting unit for final wafer inspection and classification

Wafer and cell mechanics

Non-contact thickness and topography measurement of wafers
Mechanical test methods for wafers and cells (e.g. 3 and 4-point bending, double-ring test, ball-ring test)
Mechanical test methods for saw wires
Microhardness test for determining material parameters
Pressure measuring films for load analysis on wafers
Photoelasticity for internal stress analysis in silicon on block and wafer level
„„Workstations for numerical simulation (finite element method) of mechanical, thermo-mechanical, fracture mechanical and statistical analyses

Module technology

„Automated module production line (module sizes 0.7 x 1.2 m² to 2.2 x 2.6 m²) including electroluminescence
„„Flexible, manual module production (module sizes up to 90 x 70 cm²)
Screen printer
„„RTP oven
Sample preparation device for producing microsections
Precision testing machine for connection and solder material characterization
„„    Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC)
„„    Peeling test
„„    Wetting balance tester
„„    Wetting angle measuring device

Polymer materials

Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC)
Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)
„„FT/IR spectrometer with TGA-FT/IR coupling
„„Rotational remoter
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DAM)
Thermomechanical analysis (TAM)
„„Simultaneous thermal analysis (STA)
Push-rod dilatometer
„„UV-visible spectroscopy
„„Dielectric analysis (DEA)
Water vapour permeation measuring „„instrument
„„Mass spectrometer for gas phase analysis
„„Soxleth extractor
„„Automatic dispensing system for conductive adhesive
„„Universal testing machine
Color measuring instrument

Optical materials and laser processes

Double beam „UV-vis NIR photospectrometer for transmission, reflection and scatter (incl. integrating spheres; spectral range 200 nm to 2500 nm)
„„UV-vis NIR fluorescence spectrometer (incl. life measuring unit and low temperature use; various light sources)
Spectral and spatially resolved electroluminescence within the UV-vis NIR spectral range (Si-CCD and InGaAs-CCD cameras)
„„Fourier transformation infrared (FTIR) spectrometer (incl. IR microscope and wafer mapping)
„„Raman spectrometer (incl. temperature chamber; different lasers for excitation at 325 nm, 488 nm, 514 nm, 633 nm and 785 nm; micro and macro-Raman; mapping)
„„Spectral ellipsometer (spectral range 230 nm to 2400 nm; microspot 60 μm; mapping of samples with up to 20 cm diameter; angle range 10° to 90°)
„„Optical simulation
„„Nano and femtosecond laser systems for structuring glass and for photovoltaics-relevant layers

Module characterization

Mechanical static load test station for modules up to 2 m²
Precision universal testing machine for determining the quasi-static load-deformation behavior of materials
„„Servohydraulic universal testing machine for dynamic characterization of the temperature and speed-dependent load-deformation behavior
„„Dilatometer for precise measurement of temperature-dependent material expansion
Double ring and four point-bending test for determining the strength of glass
„„Laser-Doppler vibrometer for component frequency measurement
„„3D image correlation system for spatially resolved measurement of local displacements and sample elongations
„„Optical module inspection
„„Equipment for electroluminescence and thermography imaging
Climatic test cabinets (partly with UV radiation unit)
„„Damp-heat chambers 3 x 8 m³ within the temperature range from 40°C to 90°C and humidity range from 10 to 90 % r.H.
Climatic test chamber 46 m³ incl. radiation unit for irradiated area up to 6 m²
„„High-voltage test equipment
„„High-voltage test station
„„Micro-ohmmeter for measuring small electrical resistances
Power measurement in the laboratory with class AAA module flasher up to 6 m²
Outdoor power measurement in the field with continuous U-I characteristic recording, temperature and radiation at the module
Environmental measurement technology for direct, indirect and global radiation, air pressure and humidity and wind speed direction

Photovoltaik Bestaendig Konstanz Test
© Fraunhofer CSP

The performance of solar cell modules is analysed on the institute’s test panel.