14%-Efficient Flexible CdTe Solar Cells on Ultra-Thin Glass Substrates

W. L. Rance, J. M. Burst, D. M. Meysing, C. A. Wolden, M. O. Reese, T. A. Gessert, W. K. Metzger, S. Garner, P. Cimo, T. M. Barnes

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Abstract

Flexible glass enables high-temperature, roll-to-roll processing of superstrate devices with higher photocurrents than flexible polymer foils because of its higher optical transmission. Using flexible glass in our high-temperature CdTe process, we achieved a certified record conversion efficiency of 14.05% for a flexible CdTe solar cell. Little has been reported on the flexibility of CdTe devices, so we investigated the effects of three different static bending conditions on device performance. We observed a consistent trend of increased short-circuit current and fill factor, whereas the open-circuit voltage consistently dropped. The quantum efficiency under the same static bend condition showed no change in the response. After storage in a flexed state for 24 h, there was very little change in device efficiency relative to its unflexed state. This indicates that flexible glass is a suitable replacement for rigid glass substrates, and that CdTe solar cells can tolerate bending without a decrease in device performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number143903
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume104
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Apr 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5200-61160

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