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Title: Design of epitaxial CdTe solar cells on InSb substrates

Epitaxial CdTe has been shown by others to have a radiative recombination rate approaching unity, high carrier concentration, and low defect density. It has, therefore, become an attractive candidate for high-efficiency solar cells, perhaps becoming competitive with GaAs. The choice of substrate is a key design feature for epitaxial CdTe solar cells, and several possibilities (CdTe, Si, GaAs, and InSb) have been investigated by others. All have challenges, and these have generally been addressed through the addition of intermediate layers between the substrate and CdTe absorber. InSb is an attractive substrate choice for CdTe devices, because it has a close lattice match with CdTe, it has low resistivity, and it is easy to contact. However, the valence-band alignment between InSb and p-type CdTe, which can both impede hole current and enhance forward electron current, is not favorable. Three strategies to address the band-offset problem are investigated by numerical simulation: heavy doping of the back part of the CdTe layer, incorporation of an intermediate CdMgTe or CdZnTe layer, and the formation of an InSb tunnel junction. Lastly, wach of these strategies is predicted to be helpful for higher cell performance, but a combination of the first two should be most effective.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE solar cells; epitaxial; single-crystal; CdTe; InSb; substrates