High-Efficiency, Flexible CdTe Solar Cells on Ultra-Thin Glass Substrates

H. P. Mahabaduge, W. L. Rance, J. M. Burst, M. O. Reese, D. M. Meysing, C. A. Wolden, J. Li, J. D. Beach, T. A. Gessert, W. K. Metzger, S. Garner, T. M. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus Citations


Flexible, high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells can enable applications that take advantage of high specific power, flexible form factors, lower installation and transportation costs. Here, we report a certified record efficiency of 16.4% for a flexible CdTe solar cell that is a marked improvement over the previous standard (14.05%). The improvement was achieved by replacing chemical-bath-deposited CdS with sputtered CdS:O and also replacing the high-temperature sputtered ZnTe:Cu back contact layer with co-evaporated and rapidly annealed ZnTe:Cu. We use quantum efficiency and capacitance-voltage measurements combined with device simulations to identify the reasons for the increase in efficiency. Both device simulations and experimental results show that higher carrier density can quantitatively account for the increased open circuit voltage (VOC) and Fill Factor (FF), and likewise, the increase in short circuit current density (JSC) can be attributed to the more transparent CdS:O.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number133501
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-63598


  • CdTe
  • flexible
  • II-VI semiconductor materials
  • photovoltaic cells


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