Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Nanoscale Characterization of Photovoltaic Materials and Devices
Center for Nanoscale Science & Technology , Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology
Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.
Large-scale implementation of solar power generation will require photovoltaic (PV) devices with a ratio of efficiency to cost that is much higher than existing silicon-based systems. Such “next generation” devices will depend on new materials and innovative device structures. Thin-film PV devices, also called second generation devices, are becoming competitive with Si-based technologies, but face technical challenges to achieve their potential for high efficiency. Third generation devices are now being developed that exploit nanoscale three-dimensional (3D) structures to achieve higher efficiencies at affordable manufacturing cost, but are still less efficient than current commercial solar panels. Characterizing 3D morphology, transport properties, and interfacial electronic behavior presents considerable challenges for existing measurement methods. We are developing the measurement techniques to characterize the physical processes related to light absorption and carrier dynamics in both second and third generation PV materials and devices using a suite of complementary approaches such as photoconductive AFM, near-filed optical microscopy, photothermal scanning spectroscopy, electron beam induced current, cathodoluminescence combined with nanopatterning and cross-sectioning of samples and contacts.
Mesoscopic physics; Nanofabrication; Nanoscale electronics; Nanotechnology; Photovoltaics; Scanning probe microscopy; Thin films;
Open to U.S. citizens
Open to Postdoctoral applicants