Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP

© Fraunhofer CSP

The monitoring of metal contaminations in all materials of the solar cell manufacturing processas well as a basic knowledge of the interaction of chemical and electrical material properties are important tools for the improvement of solar cell efficiency and the optimization of the manufacturing process.

In collaboration with partners from PV industries we are working on elemental analysis of feedstock materials, ingots from silicon crystallisation, silicon wafers, crucibles and process chemicals. The analytical techniques are based on a mass spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS) which allows the analysis of almost all elements of the periodic tabledown to the ppb range. We have developed and optimized methods for the determination of bulk concentrations as well as surface contaminations. Beside chemical decomposition and surface extraction the sample preparation can be done by direct solid sampling like laser ablation or electro-thermal vaporization. The spectra of applications includes quality check of feed material, characterization of crystallization processes, optimization and specification of wafer purity as well as local elemental analysis at defect structures.

On this page:


  • Trace elemental contaminations in solar Silicon
  • Chemical analysis of wafer surfaces
  • Quantitative determination of rare earth elements in magnetic materials

to top


  • High-resolution ICP magnet sector mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)
  • ICP Optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES)
  • Microwave digestion system
  • Evaporation unit
  • Laser ablation system (LA)
  • Electrothermal vaporization (ETV)
  • Wetting angle measurement
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR)

to top


  • Balski, M.; Kipphardt, H.; Berger, A.; Meyer, S.; Panne, U.: Determination of impurities in solar grade silicon by inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) subsequent to matrix evaporation, RSC Anal. Methods 6 (2013), 77-85.
  • Meyer, S.; Timmel, S.; Gläser, M.; Braun, U.; Wachtendorf, V.; Hagendorf, C.: Polymer foil additives trigger the formation of snail trails in photovoltaic modules, Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 130 (2014) 64–70.
  • Meyer, S.; Timmel, S.; Richter, S.; Werner, M.; Gläser, M.; Swatek, S.; Braun, U.; Hagendorf, C.: Silver nanoparticles cause snail trails in photovoltaic modules, Solar EnergyMaterials&SolarCells121(2014) 171–175.
  • Meyer, S.; Timmel, S.; Hagendorf, C.: Rapid determination of organic contaminations on wafer surfaces, Solid State Phenomena 219 (2014) 317-319.
  • Meyer, S.; Wahl, S.;, Molchanov, A.; Neckermann, K.; Möller, C.; Lauer, K.; Hagendorf, C.: Influence of the feedstock purity on the solar cell efficiency, Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 130 (2014) 668–672.

to top

  • Karzel, P.; Ackermann, M.; Grömner, L.; Reimann, C.; Zschorsch, M.; Meyer, S.; Kiessling, F.; Riepe, S.; Hahn, G.: Dependence of phosphorus gettering and hydrogen passivation efficacy on grain boundary type in multicrystalline silicon, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS 114, 244902 (2013)
  • Lauer, K.; Möller, C.; Neckermann, K.; Blecha, M.; Herms, M.; Mchedlidze, T.; Weber, J.; Meyer, S.: Impact of a p-type solar cell process on the electrical quality of Czochralski silicon, Energy Procedia 38 (2013) 589 – 596.
  • Li, X.; Xiao, Y.; Bang, J. H.; Lausch, D.; Meyer, S.; Miclea, P.; Jung, J.; Schweizer, S. L.; Lee, J.; Wehrspohn R. B.: Upgraded Silicon Nanowires by Metal-Assisted Etching of Metallurgical Silicon: A New oute to Nanostructured Solar-Grade Silicon, Adv. Mater. 25 (19), 2013, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201300973
  • Meyer, S.; Richter, S.; Timmel, S.; Gläser, M.; Werner, M.; Swatek, S.; Hagendorf, C.: Snail trails: root cause analysis and test procedures, Energy Procedia 38 (2013) 498 – 505.
  • Schubert, M.C.; Schön, J.; Schindler, F.; Kwapil, W.; Abdollahinia, A.; Michl, B.; Riepe, S.; Schmid, C.; Schumann, C.; Meyer, S.; Warta, W.: Impact of Impurities From Crucible and Coating on mc-Silicon Quality—the Example of Iron and Cobalt, IEEE JOURNAL OF PHOTOVOLTAICS, VOL. 3, NO. 4, (2013), 1250-58.

to top

  • Kaufmann, K.;* Wahl, S.; Meyer, S.; Hagendorf, C.: Quantitative elemental analysis of photovoltaic Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films using MCs+ clusters, Surf. Interface Anal. (2012).
  • Kiessling, F. M.; Dropka, N.; Frank-Rotsch, Ch.; Kwapil, W.; Meyer, S.; Riepe, S.; Schmid, C.; Schumann, M.: Influence of crucible quality on directionally solidified mc-Si ingot properties, Poster at the Fourth European Conference on Crystal Growth (2012) Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Kwapil, W.; Zuschlag, A.; Reis, I.; Schwirtlich, I.; Meyer, S.; Zierer, R.; Krain, R.; Kießling, F. K.; Schumann, M.; Schmid, C.; Riepe, S.: Influence of Crucible and Coating on the Contamination of Directionally Solidified Silicon: First Results of the German Research Network »SolarWinS«, Proceedings of the 27th EU PVSEC, 2012, 627 – 635.
  • Meißner, D.; Meyer, S.; Anspach, O.: Enrichment of metal ions in virgin Si-surfaces, Energy Procedia 27 (2012) 27 – 32.
  • Schumann, M.; Meyer, S.; Schmid, C.; Haas, F.; Riepe, S.; Cröll, A.: Impurity Control of Quartz Crucible Coatings for Directional Solidification of Silicon, Proceedings of the 27th EU PVSEC, 2012, 1049 – 1053.

to top

Social Media