« Foundry Home Page

November 2016

A New Way to Image Solar Cells in 3-D


Scientific Achievement

A team of Molecular Foundry scientists and users have developed a way to use optical microscopy to map thin-film solar cells in 3-D as they absorb photons.

Significance and Impact

The method images optoelectronic dynamics in materials at the micron scale to see individual grain boundaries, substrate interfaces, and other internal obstacles that impacts a solar cell’s efficiency.

Research Details


E.S. Barnard, B. Ursprung, E. Colegrove, H.R. Moutinho, N.J. Borys, B.E. Hardin, C.H. Peters, W.K. Metzger, and P.J. Schuck, Adv. Mater., 2016 (epub).