We have applied a high resolution scanning Kelvin probe to perform dark surface potential topographies of multicrystalline silicon solar cells having thin coatings of Si3N4 and SiO2. We clearly observe the electrical characteristics of the screen printed bus-bar and associated fingers, grain boundaries, together with characteristic structures on the oxide and nitride, coupled to significant surface potential variations across larger sections of the wafer. Associated surface photovoltage measurements can be unambiguously decoded to show coating and bulk contributions. The nitride coating exhibits carrier trapping lifetimes in excess of 13 minutes at 300K.
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