CdSxTe1-x Alloying in CdS/CdTe Solar Cells

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A CdSxTe1-x layer forms by interdiffusion of CdS and CdTe during the fabrication of thin-film CdTe photovoltaic (PV) devices. The CdSxTe1-x layer is thought to be important because it relieves strain at the CdS/CdTe interface that would otherwise exist due to the 10% lattice mismatch between these two materials. Our previous work [1] has indicated that the electrical junction is located in thisinterdiffused CdSxTe1-x region. Further understanding, however, is essential to predict the role of this CdSxTe1-x layer in the operation of CdS/CdTe devices. In this study, CdSxTe1-x alloy films were deposited by RF magnetron sputtering and co-evaporation from CdTe and CdS sources. Both radio-frequency-magnetron-sputtered and co-evaporated CdSxTe1-x films of lower S content (x<0.3) have a cubiczincblende (ZB) structure akin to CdTe, while those of higher S content have a hexagonal wurtzite (WZ) structure like that of CdS. Films become less preferentially oriented as a result of a CdCl2 heat treatment at~400 degrees C for 5 min. Films sputtered in a 1% O2/Ar ambient are amorphous as deposited, but show CdTe ZB, CdS WZ, and CdTe oxide phases after a CdCl2 heat treatment (HT). Filmssputtered in O2 partial pressure have a much wider bandgap (BG) than expected. This may be explained by nanocrystalline size effects seen previously [2] for sputtered oxygenated CdS (CdS:O) films.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting - San Francisco, California
Duration: 25 Apr 201129 Apr 2011


Conference2011 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting
CitySan Francisco, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-50156


  • CdS
  • CdTe
  • CdTe
  • photovoltaics
  • PV
  • solar cells
  • thin films


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