Influences of buffer material and fabrication atmosphere on the electrical properties of CdTe solar cells

Rasha A. Awni, Deng Bing Li, Zhaoning Song, Sandip S. Bista, Mohammed A. Razooqi, Corey R. Grice, Lei Chen, Geethika K. Liyanage, Chongwen Li, Adam B. Phillips, Michael J. Heben, Randy J. Ellingson, Jian V. Li, Yanfa Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The electrical properties such as interface energy barriers, defect energy levels, and densities dictate the performance of thin film solar cells. Here, we show that these properties can be quantified in cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film solar cells using admittance spectroscopy-based techniques. Our results reveal that the electrical properties in CdTe thin-film solar cells depend on both buffer material and the fabrication atmosphere. We find that only a negligible front contact barrier exists at the CdS/CdTe front junction regardless of the fabrication atmospheres, while an obvious front barriers are observed at the ZnMgO (ZMO)/CdTe junctions. Both CdS/CdTe and ZMO/CdTe solar cells exhibit back contact barrier. The energy level of defects is shallower in CdS/CdTe cells than in ZMO/CdTe cells. The fabrication atmosphere influences the electrical properties, i.e., an oxygen-free atmosphere reduces the front and back barrier heights and lowers the energy level of defects. The results provide critical insights for understanding and optimizing the performance of CdTe thin-film solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1123
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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