skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Structural and compositional dependence of the CdTexSe1-x alloy layer photoactivity in CdTe-based solar cells

Abstract

The published external quantum efficiency data of the world-record CdTe solar cell suggests that the device uses bandgap engineering, most likely with a CdTexSe1₋x alloy layer to increase the short-circuit current and overall device efficiency. Here atom probe tomography, transmission electron microscopy and electron beam-induced current are used to clarify the dependence of Se content on the photoactive properties of CdTexSe1₋x alloy layers in bandgap-graded CdTe solar cells. Four solar cells were prepared with 50, 100, 200 and 400 nm-thick CdSe layers to reveal the formation, growth, composition, structure and photoactivity of the CdTexSe1₋x alloy with respect to the degree of Se diffusion. Finally, the results show that the CdTexSe1₋x layer photoactivity is highly dependent on the crystalline structure of the alloy (zincblende versus wurtzite), which is also dependent on the Se and Te concentrations.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS)
  2. Univ. of Toledo, OH (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  3. Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; USDOE Office of Science (SC); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1295109
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; FOA-0000492
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY

Citation Formats

Poplawsky, Jonathan D., Guo, Wei, Paudel, Naba, Ng, Amy, More, Karren, Leonard, Donovan, and Yan, Yanfa. Structural and compositional dependence of the CdTexSe1-x alloy layer photoactivity in CdTe-based solar cells. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12537.
Poplawsky, Jonathan D., Guo, Wei, Paudel, Naba, Ng, Amy, More, Karren, Leonard, Donovan, & Yan, Yanfa. Structural and compositional dependence of the CdTexSe1-x alloy layer photoactivity in CdTe-based solar cells. United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12537
Poplawsky, Jonathan D., Guo, Wei, Paudel, Naba, Ng, Amy, More, Karren, Leonard, Donovan, and Yan, Yanfa. Wed . "Structural and compositional dependence of the CdTexSe1-x alloy layer photoactivity in CdTe-based solar cells". United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12537. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1295109.
@article{osti_1295109,
title = {Structural and compositional dependence of the CdTexSe1-x alloy layer photoactivity in CdTe-based solar cells},
author = {Poplawsky, Jonathan D. and Guo, Wei and Paudel, Naba and Ng, Amy and More, Karren and Leonard, Donovan and Yan, Yanfa},
abstractNote = {The published external quantum efficiency data of the world-record CdTe solar cell suggests that the device uses bandgap engineering, most likely with a CdTexSe1₋x alloy layer to increase the short-circuit current and overall device efficiency. Here atom probe tomography, transmission electron microscopy and electron beam-induced current are used to clarify the dependence of Se content on the photoactive properties of CdTexSe1₋x alloy layers in bandgap-graded CdTe solar cells. Four solar cells were prepared with 50, 100, 200 and 400 nm-thick CdSe layers to reveal the formation, growth, composition, structure and photoactivity of the CdTexSe1₋x alloy with respect to the degree of Se diffusion. Finally, the results show that the CdTexSe1₋x layer photoactivity is highly dependent on the crystalline structure of the alloy (zincblende versus wurtzite), which is also dependent on the Se and Te concentrations.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms12537},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = ,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 7 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Solar cell efficiency tables (version 46): Solar cell efficiency tables (version 46)
journal, June 2015

  • Green, Martin A.; Emery, Keith; Hishikawa, Yoshihiro
  • Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, Vol. 23, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1002/pip.2637

Solar cell efficiency tables (version 40): Solar cell efficiency tables (version 40)
journal, July 2012

  • Green, Martin A.; Emery, Keith; Hishikawa, Yoshihiro
  • Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, Vol. 20, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1002/pip.2267

Enhancing the photo-currents of CdTe thin-film solar cells in both short and long wavelength regions
journal, November 2014

  • Paudel, Naba R.; Yan, Yanfa
  • Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 105, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4901532

Preparation and characterization of pulsed laser deposited CdS/CdSe bi-layer films for CdTe solar cell application
journal, June 2016


First-principles calculation of band offsets, optical bowings, and defects in CdS, CdSe, CdTe, and their alloys
journal, February 2000

  • Wei, Su-Huai; Zhang, S. B.; Zunger, Alex
  • Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 87, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.372014

Phase behavior in the CdTe–CdS pseudobinary system
journal, July 2002

  • McCandless, Brian E.; Hanket, Gregory M.; Jensen, D. Garth
  • Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films, Vol. 20, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1116/1.1487872

Phase Diagram of the CdS-CdTe Pseudobinary System
journal, August 1973

  • Ohata, Keiichi; Saraie, Junji; Tanaka, Tetsuro
  • Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 12, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1143/JJAP.12.1198

Mass Spectrometric Study of the Phase Boundaries of the CdS-CdTe System
journal, January 1990

  • Nunoue, Shin-Ya
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 137, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.2086641

Current Enhancement of CdTe-Based Solar Cells
journal, September 2015

  • Paudel, Naba R.; Poplawsky, Jonathan D.; Moore, Karren L.
  • IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Vol. 5, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2015.2458040

Origins of bandgap bowing in compound-semiconductor common-cation ternary alloys
journal, January 2009


A review of the optical band gap of thin film CdSxTe1−x
journal, May 2006


Conduction processes in inhomogeneous CdSexTe1-x semiconductors
journal, March 1988


Laser induced formation of CdTexSe1-x semiconducting compounds
journal, September 1982


Phase Diagram of the CdTe-CdSe Pseudobinary System
journal, January 1970

  • Strauss, Alan J.; Steininger, Jacques
  • Journal of The Electrochemical Society, Vol. 117, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1149/1.2407335

Phase diagrams and crystal growth of pseudobinary alloy semiconductors
journal, May 1972


Grain-Boundary-Enhanced Carrier Collection in CdTe Solar Cells
journal, April 2014


From atomic structure to photovoltaic properties in CdTe solar cells
journal, November 2013


Direct Imaging of Cl- and Cu-Induced Short-Circuit Efficiency Changes in CdTe Solar Cells
journal, May 2014

  • Poplawsky, Jonathan D.; Paudel, Naba R.; Li, Chen
  • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 4, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201400454

Observation and first-principles calculation of buried wurtzite phases in zinc-blende CdTe thin films
journal, September 2000

  • Yan, Y.; Al-Jassim, M. M.; Jones, K. M.
  • Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 77, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.1308062

Electrical and thermal properties of alloys of CdTe and CdSe
journal, May 1964


The growth and characterization of CdSexTe1 − x thin films
journal, June 1991


Some Optical Properties of Cadmium Telluride
journal, May 1960


Solid solution in AIIBvI tellurides
journal, May 1960


Thermal Conductivity and Phonon Scattering by Magnetic Impurities in CdTe
journal, January 1964


Atom Probe Tomography Analysis of Grain Boundaries in CdTe
journal, July 2012

  • Larson, D. J.; Reinhard, D. A.; Prosa, T. J.
  • Microscopy and Microanalysis, Vol. 18, Issue S2
  • DOI: 10.1017/S1431927612006496

Tailoring Impurity Distribution in Polycrystalline CdTe Solar Cells for Enhanced Minority Carrier Lifetime
journal, November 2013

  • Kranz, Lukas; Gretener, Christina; Perrenoud, Julian
  • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 4, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201301400

Atom Probe Tomography of Compound Semiconductors for Photovoltaic and Light-Emitting Device Applications
journal, May 2012

  • Choi, Pyuck-Pa; Cojocaru-Mirédin, Oana; Abou-Ras, Daniel
  • Microscopy Today, Vol. 20, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1017/S1551929512000235

Controlled activation of ZnTe:Cu contacted CdTe solar cells using rapid thermal processing
journal, February 2015


Nanoscale Measurement of Laser-Induced Temperature Rise and Field Evaporation Effects in CdTe and GaN
journal, August 2015

  • Diercks, David R.; Gorman, Brian P.
  • The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 119, Issue 35
  • DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b02126

The roles of ZnTe buffer layers on CdTe solar cell performance
journal, April 2016


Nanoscale doping profiles within CdTe grain boundaries and at the CdS/CdTe interface revealed by atom probe tomography and STEM EBIC
journal, June 2016


Efficient sampling for three-dimensional atom probe microscopy data
journal, May 2003


Analysis of Three-dimensional Atom-probe Data by the Proximity Histogram
journal, September 2000

  • Hellman, Olof C.; Vandenbroucke, Justin A.; Rüsing, Järg
  • Microscopy and Microanalysis, Vol. 6, Issue 05
  • DOI: 10.1007/S100050010051

S–Te Interdiffusion within Grains and Grain Boundaries in CdTe Solar Cells
journal, November 2014


Low Energy Ga+ and Ar+ Ion Milling for Improved EBSD Sample Preparation
journal, August 2008


SRIM – The stopping and range of ions in matter (2010)
journal, June 2010

  • Ziegler, James F.; Ziegler, M. D.; Biersack, J. P.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, Vol. 268, Issue 11-12
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.nimb.2010.02.091

Numerical simulation of cross section electron-beam induced current in thin-film solar-cells for low and high injection conditions
journal, October 2013

  • Nichterwitz, Melanie; Unold, Thomas
  • Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 114, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4823519

Local electrical characterization of cadmium telluride solar cells using low-energy electron beam
journal, October 2013


In situ site-specific specimen preparation for atom probe tomography
journal, February 2007


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Compositionally Graded Absorber for Efficient and Stable Near-Infrared-Transparent Perovskite Solar Cells
    journal, January 2018


    Obtaining Large Columnar CdTe Grains and Long Lifetime on Nanocrystalline CdSe, MgZnO, or CdS Layers
    journal, January 2018

    • Amarasinghe, Mahisha; Colegrove, Eric; Moseley, John
    • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 8, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201702666

    One-Pot Gram-Scale, Eco-Friendly, and Cost-Effective Synthesis of CuGaS 2 /ZnS Nanocrystals as Efficient UV-Harvesting Down-Converter for Photovoltaics
    journal, June 2018

    • Jalalah, Mohammed; Al-Assiri, M. S.; Park, Jea-Gun
    • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 8, Issue 20
    • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201703418

    Electron‐Beam‐Related Studies of Halide Perovskites: Challenges and Opportunities
    journal, February 2020

    • Ran, Junhui; Dyck, Ondrej; Wang, Xiaozheng
    • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 10, Issue 26
    • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201903191

    Nanoskalige chemische Bildgebung von Zeolithen durch Atomsondentomographie
    journal, June 2018

    • Schmidt, Joel E.; Peng, Linqing; Poplawsky, Jonathan D.
    • Angewandte Chemie, Vol. 130, Issue 33
    • DOI: 10.1002/ange.201712952

    Nanoscale Chemical Imaging of Zeolites Using Atom Probe Tomography
    journal, July 2018

    • Schmidt, Joel E.; Peng, Linqing; Poplawsky, Jonathan D.
    • Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Vol. 57, Issue 33
    • DOI: 10.1002/anie.201712952

    Solution‐processed copper (I) thiocyanate (CuSCN) for highly efficient CdSe/CdTe thin‐film solar cells
    journal, May 2019

    • Montgomery, Angelique; Guo, Liping; Grice, Corey
    • Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
    • DOI: 10.1002/pip.3136

    Understanding the role of selenium in defect passivation for highly efficient selenium-alloyed cadmium telluride solar cells
    journal, May 2019


    Photovoltaic solar cell technologies: analysing the state of the art
    journal, March 2019

    • Nayak, Pabitra K.; Mahesh, Suhas; Snaith, Henry J.
    • Nature Reviews Materials, Vol. 4, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1038/s41578-019-0097-0

    Citric juice-mediated synthesis of tellurium nanoparticles with antimicrobial and anticancer properties
    journal, January 2019

    • Medina Cruz, David; Tien-Street, William; Zhang, Bohan
    • Green Chemistry, Vol. 21, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1039/c9gc00131j

    Surface passivation via acid vapor etching enables efficient and stable solution-processed CdTe nanocrystal solar cells
    journal, January 2020

    • Guo, Xiuzhen; Rong, Zhitao; Wang, Le
    • Sustainable Energy & Fuels, Vol. 4, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1039/c9se00902g

    A laminar MAPbBr 3 /MAPbBr 3−x I x graded heterojunction single crystal for enhancing charge extraction and optoelectronic performance
    journal, January 2019

    • Li, Wen-Guang; Wang, Xu-Dong; Liao, Jin-Feng
    • Journal of Materials Chemistry C, Vol. 7, Issue 19
    • DOI: 10.1039/c9tc00972h

    Photoelectrochemical characteristics of ZnO/ TiO 2 nanoheterojunctions
    journal, March 2019

    • Wang, Fang; Yu, Dengji; Dai, Jun
    • AIP Advances, Vol. 9, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1063/1.5090306

    Recombination and bandgap engineering in CdSeTe/CdTe solar cells
    journal, July 2019

    • Zheng, X.; Kuciauskas, D.; Moseley, J.
    • APL Materials, Vol. 7, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1063/1.5098459

    Effect of selenium and chlorine co-passivation in polycrystalline CdSeTe devices
    journal, October 2019

    • Guo, Jinglong; Mannodi-Kanakkithodi, Arun; Sen, Fatih G.
    • Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 115, Issue 15
    • DOI: 10.1063/1.5123169

    Structural and electronic properties of CdTe 1-x Se x films and their application in solar cells
    journal, August 2018

    • Lingg, Martina; Spescha, Annina; Haass, Stefan G.
    • Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, Vol. 19, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1080/14686996.2018.1497403

    Enhancement of photovoltaic efficiency in CdSe x Te 1− x (where 0 ⩽ x ⩽ 1): insights from density functional theory
    journal, December 2019

    • Watts, Michael J.; Fiducia, Thomas A. M.; Sanyal, Biplab
    • Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Vol. 32, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1088/1361-648x/ab5bba

    Low Temperature Photoluminescence Spectroscopy of Defect and Interband Transitions in CdSe x Te 1-x Thin Films
    journal, January 2018

    • Shrestha, Niraj; Grice, Corey R.; Bastola, Ebin
    • MRS Advances, Vol. 3, Issue 56
    • DOI: 10.1557/adv.2018.516

    Solution-Processed CdTe Thin-Film Solar Cells Using ZnSe Nanocrystal as a Buffer Layer
    journal, July 2018

    • Chen, Yanru; Mei, Xianglin; Liu, Xiaolin
    • Applied Sciences, Vol. 8, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.3390/app8071195