Although amorphous silicon is the leading thin-film photovoltaic (PV) material research is underway with other promising materials. Materials like cadmium telluride (CdTe).
A Closer Look
Leading cadmium telluride (CdTe) research focuses on addressing critical portions of the CdTe device structure, including the transparent conducting oxide (TCO) layer, the cadmium sulfide (CdS) window layer, the CdTe absorber layer, and the back contact. This research is directed at developing reproducible processes for making high-efficiency CdS/CdTe devices, as well as developing alternative processes that can improve device performance, reproducibility, and manufacturability. These goals are planned to be accomplished through the following five tasks:
• Transparent conducting oxide layers. Research teams are being provided with high-quality TCO-coated glass superstrates and are working to develop and integrate high-performance, next-generation TCO materials into baseline device structures for superior performance or manufacturability.
• CdS/window layers. Researchers are developing a better understanding of how window layers lose current, as well as improved processes for depositing and pre-treating cadmium sulfide.
• Absorbers and junctions. Researchers are working to improve device performance by compositionally engineering CdS/CdTe interfaces, and developing high-performance deposition and post-deposition processes that are fast, reproducible, and manufacturable.
• Back contacts. Work is underway to develop high-performance back contacts that are reproducible, manufacturable, and stable.
• Nanoparticle devices. Researchers are also providing device-level support to CdTe nanoparticle research.