CdTe Thin Films: Spray Deposition Using a Nanoparticle Ink Precursor

Douglas L. Schulz, Martin Pehnt, Calvin J. Curtis, David S. Ginley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


CdTe thin film growth using nanoparticle precursors and spray deposition has been investigated. Employing a metathesis approach, cadmium iodide was reacted with sodium telluride in methanol solvent resulting in the formation of soluble NaI and insoluble CdTe nanoparticles. After appropriate chemical workup, methanol-capped CdTe colloids were isolated. CdTe colloids prepared by this method exhibit a dependence of the nanoparticle diameter upon reaction temperature as determined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and UV-Visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis). CdTe thin film formation was achieved by spray depositing the nanoparticle colloids (25-75 angstroms diameter) onto substrates at elevated temperatures (T = 280-440 °C) with no further thermal treatment. These films were characterized by XRD, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Cubic CdTe phase formation was observed by XRD with a contaminant oxide phase also detected. XPS analysis showed that CdTe films produced by this one-step method contained no Na or C, but substantial O. AFM gave CdTe grain sizes of approximately 0.1-0.3 μm for films sprayed at 400 °C. A layer-by-layer film growth mechanism proposed for the one-step spray deposition of nanoparticle precursors will be discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 MRS Spring Symposium - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: 8 Apr 199611 Apr 1996


ConferenceProceedings of the 1996 MRS Spring Symposium
CitySan Francisco, CA, USA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-23036


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