Dependence of the Minority-Carrier Lifetime on the Stoichiometry of CdTe Using Time-Resolved Photoluminescence and First-Principles Calculations

Jie Ma, Darius Kuciauskas, David Albin, Raghu Bhattacharya, Matthew Reese, Teresa Barnes, Jian V. Li, Timothy Gessert, Su Huai Wei

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129 Scopus Citations

Abstract

CdTe is one of the most promising materials for thin-film solar cells. However, further improvement of its performance is hindered by its relatively short minority-carrier lifetime. Combining theoretical calculations and experimental measurements, we find that for both intrinsic CdTe and CdTe solar cell devices, longer minority-carrier lifetimes can be achieved under Cd-rich conditions, in contrast to the previous belief that Te-rich conditions are more beneficial. First-principles calculations suggest that the dominant recombination centers limiting the minority-carrier lifetime are the Te antisite and Te interstitial. Therefore, we propose that to optimize the solar cell performance, extrinsic p-type doping (e.g., N, P, or As substitution on Te sites) in CdTe under Cd-rich conditions should be a good approach to simultaneously increase both the minority-carrier lifetime and hole concentration.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 067402
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-59186

Keywords

  • minority-carrier lifetime
  • thin film solar cells

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