CdTe Photovoltaic Devices for Solar Cell Applications

Report No. ARL-RP-0349
Authors: Priyalal Wijewarnasuriya
Date/Pages: December 2011; 14 pages
Abstract: Cadmium telluride (CdTe) has been recognized as a promising photovoltaic material for thin-film solar cells because of its near optimum bandgap of ~1.5 eV and high absorption coefficient. The energy gap is near optimum for a single junction solar cell and the high absorption coefficient allows films as thin as 2 "µm to absorb more than 98% of the above-bandgap radiation. Cells with efficiencies near 17% have been produced for poly-CdTe materials. By alloying with mercury telluride (HgTe), Hg1-xCdxTe(0 d x d 1) alloy can be obtained with a bandgap energy that falls between the end points of HgTe (Eg= -0.3 eV) and CdTe (Eg =1.5 eV). Because of its bandgap tunability with the Cd composition, Hg1-xCdxTe alloy has evolved to become the most important/versatile material for detector applications over the entire infrared wavelength range and has gained traction in the solar cell community.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2011