Sputter-Deposited Oxides for Interface Passivation of CdTe Photovoltaics

Darius Kuciauskas, Patricia Dippo, Jason Kephart, Anna Kindvall, Desiree Williams, Amit Munshi, W. Sampath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus Citations


Commercial CdTe PV modules have polycrystalline thin films deposited on glass, and devices made in this format have exceeded 22% efficiency. Devices made by the authors with a magnesium zinc oxide window layer and tellurium back contact have achieved efficiency over 18%, but these cells still suffer from an open-circuit voltage far below ideal values. Oxide passivation layers made by sputter deposition have the potential to increase voltage by reducing interface recombination. CdTe devices with these passivation layers were studied with photoluminescence (PL) emission spectroscopy and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) to detect an increase in minority carrier lifetime. Because these oxide materials exhibit barriers to carrier collection, micropatterning was used to expose small point contacts while still allowing interface passivation. TRPL decay lifetimes have been greatly enhanced for thin polycrystalline absorber films with interface passivation. Device performance was measured and current collection was mapped spatially by light-beam-induced current.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)587-593
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-70431


  • aluminum oxide
  • cadmium compounds
  • II-VI semiconductor materials
  • passivation
  • photovoltaic systems
  • sputtering


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