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Author ORCID ID is 0000000180915718
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  1. Two-photon excitation (2PE) microscopy allows contactless and non-destructive cross-sectional analysis of grain-boundary (GB) and grain-interior (GI) properties in polycrystalline solar cells, with measurements of doping uniformity, space-charge field distribution, and carrier dynamics in different regions of the device. Using 2PE time-resolved microscopy, we analyzed charge-carrier lifetimes near the GBs and in the GI of polycrystalline thin-film CdTe solar cells doped with As. When the grain radius is larger than the minority-carrier diffusion length, GI lifetimes are interpreted as the bulk lifetimes ..tau..B, and GB recombination velocity SGB is extracted by comparing recombination rates in the GI and near GBs. Inmore » As-doped CdTe solar cells, we find ..tau..B = 1.0-2.4 ns and S GB = (1-4) x 10 5 cm/s. The results imply the potential to improve solar cell voltage via GB passivation and reduced recombination center concentration in the GI.« less
  2. Cd-rich composition and group-V element doping are of interest for simultaneously maximizing the hole concentration and minority carrier lifetime in CdTe, but the critical details concerning point defects are not yet fully established. Herein, we report on the properties of arsenic doped CdTe single crystals grown from Cd solvent by the travelling heater method. The photoluminescence spectra and activation energy of 74 +/- 2 meV derived from the temperature-dependent Hall effect are consistent with AsTe as the dominant acceptor. Doping in the 10^16 to 10^17/cm^3 range is achieved for measured As concentrations between 10^16 and 10^20/cm^3 with the highest dopingmore » efficiency of 40% occurring near 10^17 As/cm^3. We observe persistent photoconductivity, a hallmark of light-induced metastable configuration changes consistent with AX behavior. Additionally, quenching experiments reveal at least two mechanisms of increased p-type doping in the dark, one decaying over 2-3 weeks and the other persisting for at least 2 months. These results provide essential insights for the application of As-doped CdTe in thin film solar cells.« less
  3. From time- and spatially resolved optical measurements, we show that extended defects can have a large effect on the charge-carrier recombination in II-VI semiconductors. In CdTe double heterostructures grown by molecular beam epitaxy on the InSb (100)-orientation substrates, we characterized the extended defects and found that near stacking faults the space-charge field extends by 2-5 μm. Charge carriers drift (with the space-charge field strength of 730-1,360 V cm -1) and diffuse (with the mobility of 260 ± 30 cm 2 V -1 s -1) toward the extended defects, where the minority-carrier lifetime is reduced from 560 ns to 0.25 ns.more » Furthermore, the extended defects are nonradiative recombination sinks that affect areas significantly larger than the typical crystalline grains in II-VI solar cells. From the correlative time-resolved photoluminescence and second-harmonic generation microscopy data, we developed a band-diagram model that can be used to analyze the impact of extended defects on solar cells and other electronic devices.« less
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  4. CdTe defect chemistry is adjusted by annealing samples with excess Cd or Te vapor with and without extrinsic dopants. We observe that Group I (Cu and Na) elements can increase hole density above 10 16 cm -3, but compromise lifetime and stability. By post-deposition incorporation of a Group V dopant (P) in a Cd-rich ambient, lifetimes of 30 ns with 10 16 cm -3 hole density are achieved in single-crystal and polycrystalline CdTe without CdCl 2 or Cu. Furthermore, phosphorus doping appears to be thermally stable. In conclusion, this combination of long lifetime, high carrier concentration, and improved stability canmore » help overcome historic barriers for CdTe solar cell development.« less

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