SEMI PV13 - Test Method for Contactless Excess-Charge-Carrier Recombination Lifetime Measurement in Silicon Wafers, Ingots, and Bricks Using an Eddy-Current Sensor -

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Volume(s): Photovoltaic
Language: English
Type: Single Standards Download (.pdf)
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Revision: SEMI PV13-0714 (Reapproved 0121) - Current



The excess-charge-carrier (hereafter referred to as ‘excess-carrier’) recombination lifetime is the central parameter to silicon solar cell device design, production, and process control. The measurement of this lifetime as it depends on excess-carrier density yields physically significant results, which allows for design optimization and efficiency prediction in solar cells. The Test Method also describes how this recombination lifetime can be further analyzed in terms of more fundamental parameters of importance to solar cells, such as the bulk lifetime, surface recombination velocity, or the emitter saturation current density of the dopant diffusion. This Test Method includes measurement by quasi-steady-state photoconductance (QSSPC) and transient techniques using an eddy-current sensor.

This Standard describes methods for measuring the excess-carrier lifetime in silicon wafers, ingots, and bricks with carrier recombination lifetime in the range of 0.1 to 15,000 µs.


The measurements are applicable in the excess-carrier density range from 1 × 1013 cm−3 to 2 × 1016 cm−3 for wafer specimens, and 1 × 1013 cm−3 to 5 × 1015 cm−3 for bulk specimens (thicker than 1 cm).


The method described here is used for specimens with resistivity in the range from 0.1 Ω∙cm to 10000 Ω∙cm.


This Standard describes four measurement methodologies: two each for the assessment of wafered or bulk silicon specimens. All measurement techniques are performed using an inductive-coil (eddy-current) sensor energized at a radio frequency and an illumination source. Two of the methods use a QSSPC technique that requires a light-intensity detector to measure the photogeneration. The scope of this Document also addresses the calibration method to be used.


Referenced SEMI Standards (purchase separately)

SEMI M59 — Terminology for Silicon Technology

SEMI MF28 — Test Method for Minority Carrier Lifetime in Bulk Germanium and Silicon by Measurement of Photoconductivity Decay

SEMI MF43 — Test Method for Resistivity of Semiconductor Materials

SEMI MF84 — Test Method for Measuring Resistivity of Silicon Wafers With an In-Line Four-Point Probe

SEMI MF533 — Test Method for Thickness and Thickness Variation of Silicon Wafers

SEMI MF723 — Practice for Conversion Between Resistivity and Dopant Density for Boron-Doped, Phosphorus-Doped and Arsenic-Doped Silicon


Revision History

SEMI PV13-0714 (Reapproved 0121)

SEMI PV13-0714 (technical revision)

SEMI PV13-0813 (technical revision)

SEMI PV13-1111 (technical revision)

SEMI PV13-0211 (first published)

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