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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Factors Affecting Electroplated Semiconductor Material Properties: The Case Study of Deposition Temperature on Cadmium Telluride

by 1,2,* and 2
1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti 360211, Nigeria
2
Electronic Materials and Sensors Group, Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI), Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(6), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9060370
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 25 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Film Materials for Photovoltaic Applications)
Electrodeposition of cadmium telluride (CdTe) on fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) using two electrode configurations was successfully achieved with the main focus on the growth temperature. The electroplating temperatures explored ranged between 55 and 85 °C for aqueous electrolytes containing 1.5 M cadmium nitrate tetrahydrate (Cd(NO3)2·4H2O) and 0.002 M tellurium oxide (TeO2). The ensuing CdTe thin-films were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis spectrophotometry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), and photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell measurements. The electroplated CdTe thin-films exhibit a dominant (111) CdTe cubic structure, while the crystallite size increases with the increase in the electroplating temperature. The dislocation density and the number of crystallites per unit area decrease with increasing growth temperature. The optical characterization depicts that the CdTe samples show comparable absorbance and a resulting bandgap of 1.51 ± 0.03 eV for as-deposited CdTe layers. A marginal increase in the bandgap and reduction in the absorption edge slope towards lower deposition temperatures were also revealed. The annealed CdTe thin-films showed improvement in the energy bandgap as it tends towards 1.45 eV while retaining the aforementioned absorption edge slope trend. Scanning electron microscopy shows that the underlying FTO layers are well covered with increasing grain size observable relative to the increase in the deposition temperature. The energy dispersive X-ray analyses show an alteration in the Te/Cd relative to the deposition temperature. Higher Te ratio with respect to Cd was revealed at deposition temperature lower than 85 °C. The photoelectrochemical cell study shows that both p- and n-type CdTe can be electroplated and that deposition temperatures below 85 °C at 1400 mV results in p-type CdTe layers. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrodeposition; CdTe film; two-electrode configuration; thin films; electroplating temperature electrodeposition; CdTe film; two-electrode configuration; thin films; electroplating temperature
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ojo, A.; Dharmadasa, I. Factors Affecting Electroplated Semiconductor Material Properties: The Case Study of Deposition Temperature on Cadmium Telluride. Coatings 2019, 9, 370.

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