Exceeding 200 ns Lifetimes in Polycrystalline CdTe Solar Cells

Tursun Ablekim, Joel N. Duenow, Craig L. Perkins, John Moseley, Xin Zheng, Thomas Bidaud, Berengere Frouin, Stephane Collin, Matthew O. Reese, Mahisha Amarasinghe, Eric Colegrove, Steve Johnston, Wyatt K. Metzger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


CdTe photovoltaics has achieved one of the lowest levelized costs of electricity among all energy sources. However, for decades, carrier lifetimes have been inferior to those of other prevalent solar cell materials. This quality has inhibited common methods to improve solar cell efficiency such as back-surface fields, electron reflectors, or bifacial solar cells. In this work, a significant increase in carrier lifetime to values exceeding 200 ns in fully functional CdTe solar cells is demonstrated. The increased lifetime is achieved by large CdSeTe grains at the absorber/emitter interface, intragrain passivation in the absorber layer, and chemical passivation by forming nanoscale oxidized tellurium species at the transparent conducting oxide interface. The carrier lifetime is correlated to the open-circuit voltage and enables paths for back-surface manipulation and novel cell architectures to further improve CdTe photovoltaic performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2100173
Number of pages7
JournalSolar RRL
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-79503


  • II-VI semiconductors
  • Interfaces
  • recombination
  • solar energy
  • thin films


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