Nanocrystalline Solutions as Precursors to the Spray Deposition of CdTe Thin Films

Martin Pehnt, Douglas L. Schulz, Calvin J. Curtis, Helio R. Moutinho, Amy Swartzlander, David S. Ginley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


In this article we report the first nanoparticle-derived route to smooth, dense, phase-pure CdTe thin films. Capped CdTe nanoparticles were prepared by injection of a mixture of Cd(CH3)2, (n-C8H17)3PTe and (n-C8H17)3P into (n-C8H17)3PO at elevated temperatures. The resultant nanoparticles 32-45 angstrom in diameter were characterized by x-ray diffraction, UV-Vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. CdTe thin film deposition was accomplished by dissolving CdTe nanoparticles in butanol and then spraying the solution onto SnO2-coated glass substrates at variable susceptor temperatures. Smooth and dense CdTe thin films were obtained using growth temperatures approximately 200 °C less than conventional spray pyrolysis approaches. CdTe films were characterized by x-ray diffraction, UV-Vis spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and Auger electron spectroscopy. An increase in crystallinity and average grain size as determined by x-ray diffraction was noted as growth temperature was increased from 240 to 300 °C. This temperature dependence of film grain size was further confirmed by atomic force microscopy with no remnant nanocrystalline morphological features detected. UV-Vis characterization of the CdTe thin films revealed a gradual decrease of the band gap (i.e., elimination of nanocrystalline CdTe phase) as the growth temperature was increased with bulk CdTe optical properties observed for films grown at 300 °C.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1995
EventProceedings of the 1995 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: 18 Apr 199521 Apr 1995


ConferenceProceedings of the 1995 MRS Spring Meeting
CitySan Francisco, CA, USA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-20732


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