Response of Cds/CdTe Devices to Te Exposure of Back Contact: Preprint

Timothy Gessert

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Theoretical predictions of thin-film CdS/CdTe photovoltaic (PV) devices have suggested performance may be improved by reducing recombination due to Te-vacancy (VTe) or Te-interstitial (Tei) defects. Although formation of these intrinsic defects is likely influenced by CdTe deposition parameters, it also may be coupled to formation of beneficial cadmium vacancy (VCd) defects. If this is true,reducing potential effects of VTe or Tei may be difficult without also reducing the density of VCd. In contrast, post-deposition processes can sometimes afford a greater degree of defect control. Here we explore a post-deposition process that appears to influence the Te-related defects in polycrystalline CdTe. Specifically, we have exposed the CdTe surface to Te prior to ZnTe:Cu/Ticontact-interface formation with the goal of reducing VTe but without significantly reducing VCd. Initial results show that when this modified contact is used on a CdCl2-treated CdS/CdTe device, significantly poorer device performance results. This suggests two things: First, the amount of free-Te available during contact formation (either from chemical etching or CuTe or ZnTe deposition) may bea more important parameter to device performance than previously appreciated. Second, if processes have been used to reduce the effect of VTe (e.g., oxygen and chlorine additions to the CdTe), adding even a small amount of Te may produce detrimental defects.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference - Austin, Texas
Duration: 3 Jun 20128 Jun 2012


Conference2012 IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
CityAustin, Texas

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-54106


  • CdTe
  • contacts
  • defects
  • stoichiometry
  • ZnTe


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