Long Carrier Lifetimes in Large-Grain Polycrystalline CdTe Without CdCl2: Article No. 263903

Joel Duenow, Harvey Guthrey, John Moseley, Helio Moutinho, Steven Johnston, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Wyatt Metzger, James Burst, Ana Kanevce

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27 Scopus Citations


For decades, polycrystalline CdTe thin films for solar applications have been restricted to grain sizes of microns or less whereas other semiconductors such as silicon and perovskites have produced devices with grains ranging from less than a micron to more than 1 mm. Because the lifetimes in as-deposited polycrystalline CdTe films are typically limited to less than a few hundred picoseconds, a CdCl2 treatment is generally used to improve the lifetime; but this treatment may limit the achievable hole density by compensation. Here, we establish methods to produce CdTe films with grain sizes ranging from hundreds of nanometers to several hundred microns by close-spaced sublimation at industrial manufacturing growth rates. Two-photon excitation photoluminescence spectroscopy shows a positive correlation of lifetime with grain size. Large-grain, as-deposited CdTe exhibits lifetimes exceeding 10 ns without Cl, S, O, or Cu. This uncompensated material allows dopants such as P to achieve a hole density of 1016 cm-3, which is an order of magnitude higher than standard CdCl2-treated devices, without compromising the lifetime.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-66346


  • polycrystalline CdTe
  • TRPL


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