Available Technology

Addition of Refractory Metals to CdTe Contact Interface Layers

Thin film cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells rely on a back contact, usually including a zinc telluride (ZnTe) interface layer doped with copper (Cu), to establish a low-resistance pathway for electrons to enter the device during operation. When Cu is allowed to diffuse into the CdTe absorber layer it creates a more favorable electrical contact with the back contact, and has the additional benefit of increasing carrier lifetime within the CdTe layer. Unfortunately, Cu readily reacts with oxygen which can create copper oxide (CuO) and prevent copper diffusion into the absorber layer. A solution that prevents copper from reacting with ambient oxygen is needed to enable enhanced CdTe photovoltaic devices.
Abstract: 
Thin film cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells rely on a back contact, usually including a zinc telluride (ZnTe) interface layer doped with copper (Cu), to establish a low-resistance pathway for electrons to enter the device during operation. When Cu is allowed to diffuse into the CdTe absorber layer it creates a more favorable electrical contact with the back contact, and has the additional benefit of increasing carrier lifetime within the CdTe layer. Unfortunately, Cu readily reacts with...
Benefits: 
Increased electrical contact favorability -Longer carrier lifetime in absorber -Lower carrier recombination
applications: 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
NREL ROI 12-44
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