Identification of the lifetime limiting defects in silicon plays a key role in systematically optimizing the efficiency potential of material for solar cells. We present a technique based on temperature and injection dependent photoluminescence imaging to determine the energy levels and capture cross section ratios of Shockley-Read-Hall defects. This allows us to identify homogeneously and inhomogeneously distributed defects limiting the charge carrier lifetime in any silicon wafer. The technique is demonstrated on an n-type wafer grown with the non-contact crucible (NOC) method and an industrial Czochralski (Cz) wafer prone to defect formation during high temperature processing. We find that the energy levels for the circular distributed defects in the Cz wafer are in good agreement with literature data for homogeneously grown oxide precipitates. In contrast, the circular distributed defects found in NOC Si have significantly deeper trap levels, despite their similar appearance.
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