Roll-to-Roll Friendly Solution-Processing of Ultrathin, Sintered CdTe Nanocrystal Photovoltaics

J. Kurley, Jia-Ahn Pan, Yuanyuan Wang, Hao Zhang, Jake Russell, Gregory Pach, Bobby To, Joseph Luther, Dmitri Talapin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Roll-to-roll (R2R) device fabrication using solution-processed materials is a cheap and versatile approach that has attracted widespread interest over the past 2 decades. Here, we systematically introduce and investigate R2R-friendly modifications in the fabrication of ultrathin, sintered CdTe nanocrystal (NC) solar cells. These include (1) scalable deposition techniques such as spray-coating and doctor-blading, (2) a bath-free, controllable sintering of CdTe NCs by quantitative addition of a sintering agent, and (3) radiative heating with an infrared lamp. The impact of each modification on the CdTe nanostructure and solar cell performance was first independently studied and compared to the standard, non-R2R-friendly procedure involving spin-coating the NCs, soaking in a CdCl2 bath, and annealing on a hot plate. The R2R-friendly techniques were then combined into a single, integrated process, yielding devices that reach 10.4% power conversion efficiency with a Voc, Jsc, and FF of 697 mV, 22.2 mA/cm2, and 67%, respectively, after current/light soaking. These advances reduce the barrier for large-scale manufacturing of solution-processed, ultralow-cost solar cells on flexible or curved substrates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)44165-44173
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number37
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-79940


  • cadmium telluride
  • doctor-blading
  • ligand chemistry
  • nanocrystals
  • roll-to-roll
  • solar cell
  • spray-coating


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