Development of Cu-Doped ZnTe as a Back-Contact Interface Layer for Thin-Film CdS/CdTe Solar Cells

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The full potential of thin-film, CdS/CdTe photovoltaic solar cells will not be realized until issues relating to the fabrication of environmentally stable, low-resistance, and easily manufactured contacts to the p-CdTe layer are addressed. One alternative that provides the required contact parameters employs a Cu-doped ZnTe(ZnTe:Cu) interface layer between the p-CdTe and the outer metal contact.Thin films of ZnTe:Cu containing various concentrations of metallic Cu are produced by rf-magnetron sputtering. Additionally, the effect of incorporating small amounts of excess Zn into the sputtering target is studied. We find that the electrical resistivity of ZnTe:Cu films deposited at 300 deg. C, and prepared with Cu concentrations of approx. 0.45 at. %, is much higher than would be expectedfrom studies of films doped with higher Cu concentrations (approx. 6 at. % Cu). We also find that postdeposition heat treatment significantly reduces the electrical resistivity of the films containing approx. 0.45 at. % Cu. However, compositional analysis indicates that the surface of the films become increasingly enriched in Zn at annealing temperatures >350 deg. C. Analysis of the holeeffective mass (mh) for films containing approx. 6 at. % Cu indicates a value for mh of 0.35 me, and a high-frequency dielectric constant of 8.2.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Pages (from-to)806-812
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1996

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/JA-413-20293


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