Fabrication and analysis of patterned and planar CdTe-based solar cells

Mario Arturo Rodriguez Chavez, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Although CdTe based solar cells have been theoretically estimated to perform with efficiencies near 29%, performance has stalled around 16 years for the last decade and a half. At present, it is not certain why the efficiency is so low as compared to the theoretical limit, but some researchers attribute the efficiency gap to non-uniformities at the granular level. Ordinary growth of polycrystalline CdTe on CdS by close-space sublimation (CSS) creates a grain variety of sizes and shapes. Due to these non-uniformities, CdTe grains have different electrical performance and some could even act as electrical loads to neighboring grains. This project studies a novel approach developed by NanoMIL group at UTEP, using a patterned growth technique to decouple the interactions between neighboring CdTe grains. The development of the fabrication process is described and crucial steps in the fabrication are identified. Electrical characteristics are analyzed and correlated to fabrication procedures and material properties. Conclusions are drawn and future experiment ideas are recommended to improve the technique.^ This thesis also compiles the experimental details performed to produce a 9.4% efficient planar solar cell. To date, this is the highest efficiency achieved by the NanoMIL research group. The achievement was a team effort and all the critical steps needed to achieve such high device efficiencies are documented.^

Subject Area

Engineering, Electronics and Electrical|Energy

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez Chavez, Mario Arturo, "Fabrication and analysis of patterned and planar CdTe-based solar cells" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1453857.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1453857

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