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Title: Obtaining Large Columnar CdTe Grains and Long Lifetime on Nanocrystalline CdSe, MgZnO, or CdS Layers

Abstract

CdTe solar cells have reached efficiencies comparable to multicrystalline silicon and produce electricity at costs competitive with traditional energy sources. Recent efficiency gains have come partly from shifting from the traditional CdS window layer to new materials such as CdSe and MgZnO, yet substantial headroom still exists to improve performance. Thin film technologies including Cu(In,Ga)Se2, perovskites, Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4, and CdTe inherently have many grain boundaries that can form recombination centers and impede carrier transport; however, grain boundary engineering has been difficult and not practical. In this work, it is demonstrated that wide columnar grains reaching through the entire CdTe layer can be achieved by aggressive postdeposition CdTe recrystallization. This reduces the grain structure constraints imposed by nucleation on nanocrystalline window layers and enables diverse window layers to be selected for other properties critical for electro-optical applications. Computational simulations indicate that increasing grain size from 1 to 7 um can be equivalent to decreasing grain-boundary recombination velocity by three orders of magnitude. Here, large high-quality grains enable CdTe lifetimes exceeding 50 ns.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, IL (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1456866
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1416995
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5K00-68612
Journal ID: ISSN 1614-6832
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advanced Energy Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 1614-6832
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; CdTe; grain boundaries; recombination; solar energy; thin films

Citation Formats

Amarasinghe, Mahisha, Colegrove, Eric, Moseley, John, Moutinho, Helio, Albin, David, Duenow, Joel, Jensen, Soren, Kephart, Jason, Sampath, Walajabad, Sivananthan, Siva, Al-Jassim, Mowafak, and Metzger, Wyatt K. Obtaining Large Columnar CdTe Grains and Long Lifetime on Nanocrystalline CdSe, MgZnO, or CdS Layers. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/aenm.201702666.
Amarasinghe, Mahisha, Colegrove, Eric, Moseley, John, Moutinho, Helio, Albin, David, Duenow, Joel, Jensen, Soren, Kephart, Jason, Sampath, Walajabad, Sivananthan, Siva, Al-Jassim, Mowafak, & Metzger, Wyatt K. Obtaining Large Columnar CdTe Grains and Long Lifetime on Nanocrystalline CdSe, MgZnO, or CdS Layers. United States. doi:10.1002/aenm.201702666.
Amarasinghe, Mahisha, Colegrove, Eric, Moseley, John, Moutinho, Helio, Albin, David, Duenow, Joel, Jensen, Soren, Kephart, Jason, Sampath, Walajabad, Sivananthan, Siva, Al-Jassim, Mowafak, and Metzger, Wyatt K. Mon . "Obtaining Large Columnar CdTe Grains and Long Lifetime on Nanocrystalline CdSe, MgZnO, or CdS Layers". United States. doi:10.1002/aenm.201702666.
@article{osti_1456866,
title = {Obtaining Large Columnar CdTe Grains and Long Lifetime on Nanocrystalline CdSe, MgZnO, or CdS Layers},
author = {Amarasinghe, Mahisha and Colegrove, Eric and Moseley, John and Moutinho, Helio and Albin, David and Duenow, Joel and Jensen, Soren and Kephart, Jason and Sampath, Walajabad and Sivananthan, Siva and Al-Jassim, Mowafak and Metzger, Wyatt K.},
abstractNote = {CdTe solar cells have reached efficiencies comparable to multicrystalline silicon and produce electricity at costs competitive with traditional energy sources. Recent efficiency gains have come partly from shifting from the traditional CdS window layer to new materials such as CdSe and MgZnO, yet substantial headroom still exists to improve performance. Thin film technologies including Cu(In,Ga)Se2, perovskites, Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4, and CdTe inherently have many grain boundaries that can form recombination centers and impede carrier transport; however, grain boundary engineering has been difficult and not practical. In this work, it is demonstrated that wide columnar grains reaching through the entire CdTe layer can be achieved by aggressive postdeposition CdTe recrystallization. This reduces the grain structure constraints imposed by nucleation on nanocrystalline window layers and enables diverse window layers to be selected for other properties critical for electro-optical applications. Computational simulations indicate that increasing grain size from 1 to 7 um can be equivalent to decreasing grain-boundary recombination velocity by three orders of magnitude. Here, large high-quality grains enable CdTe lifetimes exceeding 50 ns.},
doi = {10.1002/aenm.201702666},
journal = {Advanced Energy Materials},
number = 11,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Mon Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Time-resolved photoluminescence studies of CdTe solar cells
journal, September 2003

  • Metzger, W. K.; Albin, D.; Levi, D.
  • Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 94, Issue 5, p. 3549-3555
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.1597974

Fabrication procedures and process sensitivities for CdS/CdTe solar cells
journal, September 1999


Recombination kinetics and stability in polycrystalline Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells
journal, February 2009