Opto-Electronic Characterization CdTe Solar Cells from TCO to Back Contact with Nano-Scale CL Probe

John Moseley, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Darius Kuciauskas, Harvey Guthrey, Joel Duenow, Wyatt Metzger, Richard Ahrenkiel, Naba Paudel, Hasitha Mahabaduge, Yanfa Yan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Scopus Citations


We used cathodoluminescence (CL) (spectrum-per-pixel) imaging on beveled CdTe solar cell sections to investigate the opto-electronic properties of these devices from the TCO to the back contact. We used a nano-scale CL probe to resolve luminescence from grain boundary (GB) and grain interior (GI) locations near the CdS/CdTe interface where the grains are very small. As-deposited, CdCl2-treated, Cu-treated, and (CdCl2+Cu)-treated cells were analyzed. Color-coded CL spectrum imaging maps on bevels illustrate the distribution of the T=6 K luminescence transitions through the depth of devices with unprecedented spatial resolution. The CL at the GBs and GIs is shown to vary significantly from the front to the back of devices and is a sensitive function of processing. Supporting D-SIMS depth profile, TRPL lifetime, and C-V measurements are used to link the CL data to the J-V performance of devices.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC) - New Orleans, Louisiana
Duration: 14 Jun 201519 Jun 2015


Conference2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC)
CityNew Orleans, Louisiana

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-63562


  • cathodoluminescence
  • CdTe solar cells
  • grain boundaries
  • opto-electronic properties


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