Available Technology

Wet Chemical Surface Passivation Treatments for CdTe

In recent years thin film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) solar cell recombination rates have been reduced by increasing bulk crystal quality so that a greater number of charge carriers can participate in conduction. As devices have improved and more minority carriers reach the back surface contact layers, surface recombination has become a greater limiter of device efficiency. This inefficiency is likely a result of an acidic surface treatment for bulk CdTe material that is intended to prepare the material for contacting but leaves a residual Te-rich layer on the surface that does not provide sufficient passivation for current charge carrier concentrations. New methods of preparing bulk CdTe material for contacting that reduce the portion of Te present on the surface of the device are necessary for further efficiency gains.
Abstract: 
In recent years thin film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) solar cell recombination rates have been reduced by increasing bulk crystal quality so that a greater number of charge carriers can participate in conduction. As devices have improved and more minority carriers reach the back surface contact layers, surface recombination has become a greater limiter of device efficiency. This inefficiency is likely a result of an acidic surface treatment for bulk CdTe material that is intended to prepare the...
Benefits: 
Increased device efficiency through decreased surface recombination -Easily implemented in industrial environments -Method works consistently at low cost
applications: 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
NREL ROI 14-39
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