Analysis of the Junction Properties of CdS/CdTe Devices in Substrate and Superstrate Configurations

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The best efficiency of CdS/CdTe devices fabricated in the substrate configuration reported to date is about 8%, which is about half the 17.3% reported for the conventional superstrate configuration. The performance of substrate devices is affected by lower open-circuit voltage (Voc), about 700 mV, and low fill factor (FF), which indicates that these devices are primarily limited by non-idealjunction properties and possibly by the ohmic contact to CdTe. In our study of the junction properties of superstrate devices, we show that lower-Voc devices (< 720 mV) with SnO2/CdTe and CdS/CdTe structures are true heterojunction devices. High charged defect density at the heterointerfaces is present in the depletion region and contributes to the dark current density, thereby reducingVoc. On the other hand, for higher-performance devices with Voc > 800 mV, the junction is between an n-type, Te-rich CdSTe alloy with a bandgap of 1.45 eV and p-type CdTe with a bandgap of 1.5 eV. Because the crystal structure of both the Te-rich alloy and the CdTe is cubic zinc blende, and the lattice mismatch between the two is minimal, the device in this case can be considered aquasi-homojunction. These higher-Voc devices are therefore affected less by the high charged defect density at the hetero-interface, which lies outside of the depletion region. We present analysis of the junction properties of our recent and improved substrate-configuration devices with Voc well in excess of 800 mV, FF approaching 60%, and efficiencies around 10%. We also compare devicesfabricated in both the substrate and superstrate configurations and with comparable Voc in the range of 700 to more than 800 mV. Photoluminescence (PL) and temperature-dependent PL, current density-voltage and quantum efficiency analysis, and modulated reflectance measurements are used to study device properties.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2011
Event26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 5 Sep 20119 Sep 2011


Conference26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference
CityHamburg, Germany

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-72706


  • CdTe
  • II-VI semiconductors
  • thin film solar cells


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