Polycrystalline Thin-Film Cadmium Telluride Solar Cells Fabricated by Electrodeposition: Annual Technical Report, 20 March 1995 - 19 March 1996

    Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


    The objective of this project is to develop improved processes for fabricating CdTe/CdS polycrystalline thin-film solar cells. Researchers used electrodeposition to form CdTe; electrodeposition is a non-vacuum, low-cost technique that is attractive for economic, large-scale production. During the past year, research and development efforts focused on several steps that are most critical to thefabricating high-efficiency CdTe solar cells. These include the optimization of the CdTe electrodeposition process, the effect of pretreatment of CdS substrates, the post-deposition annealing of CdTe, and back-contact formation using Cu-doped ZnTe. Systematic investigations of these processing steps have led to a better understanding and improved performances of the CdTe-based cells. Researchersstudied the structural properties of chemical-bath-deposited CdS thin films and their growth mechanisms by investigating CdS samples prepared at different deposition times; investigated the effect of CdCl2 treatment of CdS films on the photovoltaic performance of CdTe solar cells; studied Cu-doped ZnTe as a promising material for forming stable, low-resistance contacts to the p-type CdTe; andinvestigated the effect of CdTe and CdS thickness on the photovoltaic performance of the resulting cells. As a result of their systematic investigation and optimization of the processing conditions, researchers improved the efficiency of CdTe/CdS cells using ZnTe back-contact and electrodeposited CdTe. The best CdTe/CdS cell exhibited a Voc of 0.778 V, a Jsc of 22.4 mA/cm2, a FF of 74%, and anefficiency of 12.9% (verified at NREL). In terms of individual parameters, researchers obtained a Voc over 0.8 V and a FF of 76% on other cells.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages46
    StatePublished - 1997

    Bibliographical note

    Work performed by Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/SR-520-21927


    • cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic solar cells modules
    • electrodeposition
    • photovoltaics (PV)
    • polycrystalline thin films


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