Thin Film CdTe Solar cell developed in USA

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Working together through NREL's Thin Film PV Partnership Program, ITN/Energy Systems (ITN/ES) of Wheat Ridge, CO, and Colorado School of Mines (CSM) of Golden, CO, have jointly fabricated the world's first 10.6% thin-film CdTe solar cell using the atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition method (APCVD). The thin-film CdTe solar cell structure is glass/SnO2 /CdS/ CdTe/ contact. The cell parameters are Jsc = 21.1 mA/cm2,Voc = 0.79, FF = 0.64, and Eff = 10.6%.


There were several cells in the efficiency range of 9.8% to 10.6%. The advantage of the APCVD process is that it does not have load-locks, which add to the cost of the deposition system. NREL scientist Sally Asher and her co-workers, who specialize in static SIMS (secondary ion mass spectroscopy), have helped ITN/ES and CSM reach this important milestone. SIMS analysis had identified high O2 content (about 30%) caused from leaks in the APCVD system, which was detrimental to device performance. With further optimization of the processing and device design should approach a solar cell efficiency of 12.0% in the near future.


National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV)