Near infrared hyperspectral photoluminescence imaging of crystalline silicon wafers can reveal new knowledge on the spatial distribution and the spectral response of radiative recombination active defects in the material. The hyperspectral camera applied for this imaging technique is subject to background shot noise as well as to oscillating background noise caused by temperature fluctuations in the camera chip. Standard background noise subtraction methods do not compensate for this oscillation. Many of the defects in silicon wafers lead to photoluminescence emissions with intensities that are one order of magnitude lower than the oscillation in the background noise level. These weak signals are therefore not detected. In this work, we demonstrate an enhanced background noise subtraction scheme that accounts for temporal oscillations as well as spatial differences in the background noise. The enhanced scheme drastically increases the sensitivity of the camera and hence allows for detection of weaker signals. Thus, it may be useful to implement the method in all hyperspectral imaging applications studying weak signals.
Keywords: near infrared, hyperspectral imaging, noise subtraction, photovoltaic, crystalline silicon