Special Issue "Advances in Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Thin Film Photovoltaic Solar Cells"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Giray Kartopu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Swansea University, Centre for Solar Energy Research
Interests: Thin film photovoltaic solar cells; up-scaling of atmospheric metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process for CdTe photovoltaics; fabrication and characterization of functional, one-dimensional nanostructures of semiconductors and metals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The research on thin film CdTe photovoltaic solar cells has been re-gaining momentum in recent years, due to commercial advances made with regard to CdTe technology. CdTe solar panels are now at parity with poly-crystalline silicon for performance and cost. The recent work in this area appears to focus on increasing absorber carrier density and lifetime, engineering of the material bandgaps for the enhanced light capture and optimization of the oxide/telluride buffer layers for the front/back surface of the CdTe device.

This Special Issue aims to serve an improved understanding of the key issues with the state-of-the art CdTe solar cells to enable further advancement of R&D of the CdTe photovoltaic technology. Not only experimental reports on the CdTe device performance and scaling-up but also theoretical papers, particularly on band-alignment and doping issues, are warmly welcome.

Dr. Giray Kartopu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • photovoltaics
  • solar cells
  • thin films
  • semiconductors
  • cadmium telluride (CdTe)
  • MgZnO, CdSe, CdSeTe, ZnTe
  • doping
  • carrier lifetime

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
CuSCN as the Back Contact for Efficient ZMO/CdTe Solar Cells
Materials 2020, 13(8), 1991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13081991 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
The replacement of traditional CdS with zinc magnesium oxide (ZMO) has been demonstrated as being helpful to boost power conversion efficiency of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells to over 18%, due to the reduced interface recombination and parasitic light absorption by the buffer [...] Read more.
The replacement of traditional CdS with zinc magnesium oxide (ZMO) has been demonstrated as being helpful to boost power conversion efficiency of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells to over 18%, due to the reduced interface recombination and parasitic light absorption by the buffer layer. However, due to the atmosphere sensitivity of ZMO film, the post treatments of ZMO/CdTe stacks, including CdCl2 treatment, back contact deposition, etc., which are critical for high-performance CdTe solar cells became crucial challenges. To realize the full potential of the ZMO buffer layer, plenty of investigations need to be accomplished. Here, copper thiocyanate (CuSCN) is demonstrated to be a suitable back-contact material with multi-advantages for ZMO/CdTe solar cells. Particularly, ammonium hydroxide as the solvent for CuSCN deposition shows no detrimental impact on the ZMO layer during the post heat treatment. The post annealing temperature as well as the thickness of CuSCN films are investigated. Finally, a champion power conversion efficiency of 16.7% is achieved with an open-circuit voltage of 0.857 V, a short-circuit current density of 26.2 mA/cm2, and a fill factor of 74.0%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Optical-Electrical Optimization of Cd1−xZnxTe/Silicon Tandem Solar Cells
Materials 2020, 13(8), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13081860 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 840
Abstract
Although the fundamental limits have been established for the single junction solar cells, tandem configurations are one of the promising approaches to surpass these limits. One of the candidates for the top cell absorber is CdTe, as the CdTe photovoltaic technology has significant [...] Read more.
Although the fundamental limits have been established for the single junction solar cells, tandem configurations are one of the promising approaches to surpass these limits. One of the candidates for the top cell absorber is CdTe, as the CdTe photovoltaic technology has significant advantages: stability, high performance, and relatively inexpensive. In addition, it is possible to tune the CdTe bandgap by introducing, for example, Zn into the composition, forming Cd1−xZnxTe alloys, which can fulfill the Shockley–Queisser limit design criteria for tandem devices. The interdigitated back contact (IBC) silicon solar cells presented record high efficiencies recently, making them an attractive candidate for the rear cell. In this work, we present a combined optical and electrical optimization of Cd1−xZnxTe/IBC Si tandem configurations. Optical and electrical loss mechanisms are addressed, and individual layers are optimized. Alternative electron transport layers and transparent conductive electrodes are discussed for maximizing the top cell and tandem efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Properties of Arsenic–Doped ZnTe Thin Films as a Back Contact for CdTe Solar Cells
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3706; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223706 - 10 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 871
Abstract
As-doped polycrystalline ZnTe layers grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) have been investigated as a back contact for CdTe solar cells. While undoped ZnTe films were essentially insulating, the doped layers showed significant rise in conductivity with increasing As concentration. High p-type [...] Read more.
As-doped polycrystalline ZnTe layers grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) have been investigated as a back contact for CdTe solar cells. While undoped ZnTe films were essentially insulating, the doped layers showed significant rise in conductivity with increasing As concentration. High p-type carrier densities up 4.5 × 1018 cm−3 was measured by the Hall-effect in heavily doped ZnTe:As films, displaying electrical properties comparable to epitaxial ZnTe single crystalline thin films in the literature. Device incorporation with as-deposited ZnTe:As yielded lower photovoltaic (PV) performance compared to reference devices, due to losses in the open-circuit potential (VOC) and fill factor (FF) related to reducing p-type doping density (NA) in the absorber layer. Some minor recovery observed in absorber doping following a Cl-free post–ZnTe:As deposition anneal in hydrogen at 420 °C contributed to a slight improvement in VOC and NA, highlighting the significance of back contact activation. A mild CdCl2 activation process on the ZnTe:As back contact layer via a sacrificial CdS cap layer has been assessed to suppress Zn losses, which occur in the case of standard CdCl2 anneal treatments (CHT) via formation of volatile ZnCl2. The CdS sacrificial cap was effective in minimising the Zn loss. Compared to untreated and non-capped, mild CHT processed ZnTe:As back contacted devices, mild CHT with a CdS barrier showed the highest recovery in absorber doping and an ~10 mV gain in VOC, with the best cell efficiency approaching the baseline devices. Full article
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