Glow discharge techniques in the chemical analysis of photovoltaic materials

Sebastian W. Schmitt, Cornel Venzago, Björn Hoffmann, Vladimir Sivakov, Thomas Hofmann, Johann Michler, Silke Christiansen, Gerardo Gamez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The presented study gives an integrated overview on the prospects of glow discharge (GD) methods in the chemical analysis of photovoltaic materials. With a focus on recent research and important photovoltaic (PV) materials, the GD coupled analytical methods, high resolution mass spectrometry (MS), time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) and optical emission spectrometry (OES) are discussed. Each exemplary study carried out will point out the most suitable GD technique for the problem at hand, at the same time showing ways to increase analytical accuracy and to overcome typical instrumental restrictions. Challenging GD-MS analyses of thin and ultra thin films (down to 20 nm) as well as GD-MS and GD-OES studies of ready-to-use modules were carried out, showing the reader the application potential of GD methods in a PV development or production process. For the first time, novel cell concepts based on crystalline silicon on glass and silicon nanowires are analyzed by GD-OES, revealing precise chemical information on the devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-382
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014


  • chemical characterization
  • glow discharge
  • mass spectrometry
  • nanowires
  • optical emission spectrometry
  • photovoltaics
  • thin films


Dive into the research topics of 'Glow discharge techniques in the chemical analysis of photovoltaic materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this