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Durham e-Theses
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Cadmium telluride for solar cells

Awan, G. R. (1987) Cadmium telluride for solar cells. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Cadmium telluride is an attractive material for solar cell applications because of its near optimum bandgap and high absorption coefficient. This thesis presents the results of a study into the use of CdTe for solar cells. Three types of cell have been investigated, namely; CdS/CdTe devices fabricated by the vacuum evaporation of CdS onto either: (a) single crystal p-CdTe substrates or (b) p-CdTe thin films, and (c) p-Cu(_2)Te/n-CdTe devices made by a chemiplating process onto single crystal n-CdTe. The effects of substrate polishing and preparation on the performance of CdS/CdTe bulk crystal cells have been Investigated together with the problems of doping and contacting to p-type CdTe. These studies have shown that the best results are obtained with devices that have been prepared on pad polished, phosphorus doped substrates using carbon contacts (efficiency = 7.2%). The influence of deposition conditions on the electrical and structural properties of thin CdS and CdTe layers, and their effect on CdS/CdTe device efficiency were also studied, and optimum growth conditions established. In the third group of CU(_2)Te/CdTe solar cells a number of structural and electrical aspects such as the phase of Cu(_2)Te, and the Influence of dopants, substrate resistivity and preparation and ageing on cell efficiency have been examined. As secondary objectives, an investigation Into the epitaxial growth of CdS on CdTe, and the characterisation of as-grown and doped CdTe have been carried out. It has been shown that epitaxy is possible on the {111} and {221} faces of CdTe. The characterisation of CdTe has revealed the presence of dominant levels at energies above the valence band of 0.50 eV in the as-grown crystals; 0.53, 0.71 and 0.84 eV in Te-annealed single crystals; and 0.35 eV in Cu doped CdTe thin films.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1987
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:50

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