Development of Substrate Structure CdTe Photovoltaic Devices with Performance Exceeding 10%

Ramesh G. Dhere, Joel N. Duenow, Clay M. Dehart, Jian V. Li, Darius Kuciauskas, Timothy A. Gessert

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

16 Scopus Citations


Most work on CdTe-based solar cells has focused on devices with a superstrate structure. This focus is due to the early success of the superstrate structure in producing high-efficiency cells, problems of suitable ohmic contacts for lightly doped CdTe, and the simplicity of the structure for manufacturing. The development of the CdCl2 heat treatment boosted CdTe technology and perpetuated the use of the superstrate structure. However, despite the beneficial attributes of the superstrate structure, devices with a substrate structure are attractive both commercially and scientifically. The substrate structure eliminates the need for transparent superstrates and thus allows the use of flexible metal and possibly plastic substrates. From a scientific perspective, it allows better control in forming the junction and direct access to the junction for detailed analysis. Research on such devices has been limited. The efficiency of these devices has been limited to around 8% due to low open-circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor. In this paper, we present our recent device development efforts at NREL on substrate-structure CdTe devices. We have found that processing parameters required to fabricate high-efficiency substrate CdTe PV devices differ from those necessary for traditional superstrate CdTe devices. We have worked on a variety of contact materials including Cu-doped ZnTe and CuxTe. We will present a comparative analysis of the performance of these contacts. In addition, we have studied the influence of fabrication parameters on junction properties. We will present an overview of our development work, which has led to CdTe devices with Voc values of more than 860 mV and NREL-confirmed efficiencies approaching 11%.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: 3 Jun 20128 Jun 2012


Conference38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX

Bibliographical note

See CP-5200-54126 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-56929


  • CdTe
  • contacts
  • devices
  • efficiency
  • open-circuit voltage
  • substrate structure


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