X100 used at Diamond Light Source

Posted on Thu, Jun 09, 2016 by Nick Scarratt

A recent set of experiments at the Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire has seen the Xtralien X100 used to help understand crystallisation processes within perovskite thin films.

Perovskites are a new class of semiconductor material that are easy to process using ultra-cheap solution-based techniques, and combine efficient optical absorption with very high charge carrier mobility. For this reason, many researchers are excited by the prospect that perovskite thin-films could be used in a range of optoelectronic devices including light-emitting diodes, lasers and photovoltaic devices.

The best efficiency for a perovskite photovoltaic device stands at a little over 20%, a value not far behind that of crystalline silicon.

Characterising the structure of the perovskite films at nanometer and sub-nanometer length-scales is key to understanding their electronic properties. There are a number of experimental techniques that can probe such length-scales, one of which is grazing incidence x-ray scattering (GIWAXS). In this technique, a high-intensity, focussed beam of X-rays is shone onto a sample, and optical scattering as a result of diffraction from the atoms (or molecules) in the sample can reveal critical information about characteristic length-scales, crystallisation and film morphology.

Very recently a group of researchers from the University of Sheffield and the University of Cambridge have been performing GIWAXS measurements at the Diamond Light Source, with the X100 being a key part of the experiment. Here, the current-sensing capacity of the Xtralien X100 was put to good effect by monitoring the interaction of the x-ray beam with a perovskite sample.

Andrew pearson of the University of Cambridge adjusting the system on the I07 beamline at the Diamond Light Source and using the X100 to take in-situ electrical measurements.
Andrew pearson of the University of Cambridge aligning the system on the I07 beamline at the Diamond Light Source and using the X100 to take in-situ electrical measurements

Author: Nick Scarratt

Nick joined Ossila in 2015 after completing a physics PhD in organic photovoltaics at the University of Sheffield. This gave him experience in device physics, coating techniques, and the optical and electrical characterisation of organic semiconductors. His PhD also involved the construction and programming of automated characterisation systems. He now draws from this knowledge to design and create test and measurement systems for Ossila.