Detection of Mechanical Defects in Solar Cells by Photoluminescence Imaging

Abstract: Flight hardware on satellites underlies enormous quality demands. Therefore every single part is checked several times in order to assure that only non-damaged components are launched to the orbit. The core part of the power supply of a satellite is the solar cell that generates the electricity for the payload of a satellite. During production, space solar cells are checked for mechanical cracks using electroluminescence (EL). However, the main disadvantage of EL is that an electrical connection to the solar cell is necessary. Therefore the principle of EL should be substituted by photoluminescence (PL), where no electrical connection is necessary but the current is induced contactless to the solar cell by light. In the following thesis the principle of PL and the successful production integration of a PL method checking triple junction (3J) space solar cells for mechanical defects is shown.