CdTe Solar Cells with Open-Circuit Voltage Breaking the 1V Barrier

Wyatt Metzger, Joel Duenow, David Albin, Matthew Reese, Chun Sheng Jiang, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Darius Kuciauskas, Eric Colegrove, M.K. Patel, S. Swain, T. Abelkim, K.G. Lynn, James Burst, Jeffery Aguiar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

370 Scopus Citations


CdTe solar cells have the potential to undercut the costs of electricity generated by other technologies, if the open-circuit voltage can be increased beyond 1V without significant decreases in current. However, in the past decades, the open-circuit voltage has stagnated at around 800-900mV. This is lower than in GaAs solar cells, even though GaAs has a smaller bandgap; this is because it is more difficult to achieve simultaneously high hole density and lifetime in II-VI materials than in III-V materials. Here, by doping the CdTe with a Group V element, we report lifetimes in single-crystal CdTe that are nearly radiatively limited and comparable to those in GaAs over a hole density range relevant for solar applications. Furthermore, the deposition on CdTe of nanocrystalline CdS layers that form non-ideal heterointerfaces with 10% lattice mismatch impart no damage to the CdTe surface and show excellent junction transport properties. These results enable the fabrication of CdTe solar cells with open-circuit voltage greater than 1V.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number16015
Number of pages7
JournalNature Energy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-64804


  • CdTe
  • solar cells
  • voltage


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