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Engineering Manufacturing Education: Solar Cell Analysis and Diagnostics Using Scanning and Imaging Techniques

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Design & Development Projects and Practices

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Paper Authors


Michael G Mauk P.E. Drexel University

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Michael Mauk is Assistant Professor in Drexel University's Engineering Technology program.

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Richard Chiou Drexel University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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Dr. Richard Chiou is Associate Professor within the Engineering Technology Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His educational background is in manufacturing with an emphasis on mechatronics. In addition to his many years of industrial experience, he has taught many different engineering and technology courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. His tremendous research experience in manufacturing includes environmentally conscious manufacturing, Internet based robotics, and Web based quality. In the past years, he has been involved in sustainable manufacturing for maximizing energy and material recovery while minimizing environmental impact.

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Carlos Michael Ruiz Drexel University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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Carol Jeanice Martin

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Smarth H Chadha Drexel University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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Solar cells are an important renewable energy technology and serve as an informative sample type for educational demonstrations and exercises in materials science, thin films and optics, machine vision, quality assurance, manufacturing science, and process control. Most simply, small (1 cm2) solar cells can be characterized by point measurements such as open-circuit voltage, photocurrent, efficiency, and spectral response. However, solar cells, including large-area devices (>100 cm2) and modules, can be analyzed in much more detail by scanning and probing the solar cell to map the localized electrical and optical characteristics and performance in two dimensions. Here we describe the adaptation of an inexpensive (approx. $100) desktop laser engraver and a low-cost CCD camera for 2-D profiling of solar cells based on light-beam induced current, spectral response, surface roughness topography, grain structure and texture, and reflectivity. These methods give students hands-on, project-based learning activities for developing analytical tools used in research and development, manufacturing, and reliability for diverse industries including electronics, optics, displays, coatings, thin-film technology, solid-state lighting, and catalysts. Learning assessments and adaptation for dissemination will be discussed.

Mauk, M. G., & Chiou, R., & Ruiz, C. M., & Martin, C. J., & Chadha, S. H. (2018, June), Engineering Manufacturing Education: Solar Cell Analysis and Diagnostics Using Scanning and Imaging Techniques Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30416

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