High-Quality CdTe Films from Nanoparticle Precursors

Douglas L. Schulz, Martin Pehnt, Ed Urgiles, David W. Niles, Kim M. Jones, Calvin J. Curtis, David S. Ginley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In this paper we demonstrate that nanoparticulate precursors coupled with spray deposition offers an attractive route into electronic materials with improved smoothness, density, and lower processing temperatures. Employing a metathesis approach, cadmium iodide was reacted with sodium telluride in methanol solvent, resulting in the formation of soluble Nal and insoluble CdTe nanoparticles. After appropriate chemical workup, methanol-capped CdTe colloids were isolated. CdTe thin film formation was achieved by spray depositing the nanoparticle colloids (25-75 angstrom diameter) onto substrates at elevated temperatures (T = 280-440°C) with no further thermal treatment. These films were characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Cubic CdTe phase formation was observed by XRD, with a contaminant oxide phase also detected. XPS analysis showed that CdTe films produced by this one-step method contained no Na or C and substantial O. AFM gave CdTe grain sizes of approx.0.1-0.3 μm for film sprayed at 400°C. A layer-by-layer film growth mechanism proposed for the one-step spray deposition of nanoparticle precursors will be discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 25th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference - Washington, DC, USA
Duration: 13 May 199617 May 1996


ConferenceProceedings of the 1996 25th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
CityWashington, DC, USA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-22426


Dive into the research topics of 'High-Quality CdTe Films from Nanoparticle Precursors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this