A time-resolved photoluminescence-based system providing quality control during manufacture of thin film absorber layers for photovoltaic devices. The system includes a laser generating excitation beams and an optical fiber with an end used both for directing each excitation beam onto a thin film absorber layer and for collecting photoluminescence from the absorber layer. The system includes a processor determining a quality control parameter such as minority carrier lifetime of the thin film absorber layer based on the collected photoluminescence. In some implementations, the laser is a low power, pulsed diode laser having photon energy at least great enough to excite electron hole pairs in the thin film absorber layer. The scattered light may be filterable from the collected photoluminescence, and the system may include a dichroic beam splitter and a filter that transmit the photoluminescence and remove scattered laser light prior to delivery to a photodetector and a digital oscilloscope.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the Manager and Operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.