Improved Intrinsic Stability of CdTe Polycrystalline Thin Film Devices

David Albin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A systems-driven approach linking upstream solar cell device fabrication history with downstream performance and stability has been applied to CdS/CdTe small-area device research. The best resulting initial performance (using thinner CdS, thicker CdTe, no oxygen during VCC, and the use of NP etch) was shown to simultaneously correlate with poor stability. Increasing the CdS layer thicknesssignificantly improved stability at only a slight decrease in overall performance. It was also determined that cell perimeter effects can accelerate degradation in these devices. A 'margined' contact significantly reduces the contribution of edge shunting to degradation, and thus yields a more accurate determination of the intrinsic stability. Pspice discrete element models demonstrate howspatially localized defects can effectively dominate degradation. Mitigation of extrinsic shunting improved stabilized efficiency degradation levels (SEDL) to near 20% in 100?C tests. Further process optimization to reduce intrinsic effects improved SEDL to better than 10% at the same stress temperatures and times.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2005
Event2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 25 Oct 200428 Oct 2004


Conference2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting
CityDenver, Colorado

Bibliographical note

Presented at the 2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting, 25-28 October 2004, Denver, Colorado. Also included in the proceedings available on CD-ROM (DOE/GO-102005-2067; NREL/CD-520-37140)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-520-37049


  • back contacts
  • devices
  • intrinsic stability
  • PV
  • solar cells
  • stabilized efficiency degradation levels (SEDL)
  • systems driven approach (SDA)


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