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Cadmium-telluride—Material for thin film solar cells

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

Dieter Bonnet
Affiliation:
ANTEC GmbH, Industriestr. 2, D-65779 Kelkheim, Germany
Peter Meyers
Affiliation:
ITN Energy Systems, 12401 West 49th Avenue, Wheatridge, Colorado 80033
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Abstract

Due to its basic optical, electronic, and chemical properties, CdTe can become the base material for high-efficiency, low-cost thin film solar cells using robust, high-throughput manufacturing techniques. CdTe films suited for photovoltaic energy conversion have been produced by nine different processes. Using n-type CdS as a window-partner, solar cells of up to 16% efficiency have been made in the laboratory. Presently five industrial enterprises are striving to master low cost production processes and integrated modules have been delivered in sizes up to 60 × 120 cm2, showing efficiencies up to 9%. Stability, health, and environmental issues will not limit the commercial potential of the final product. The technology shows high promise for achieving cost levels of $0.5/Wp at 15% efficiency. In order to achieve this goal, scientists will have to develop a more detailed understanding of defect chemistry and device operation of cells, and engineers will have to develop methods for high-throughput manufacturing.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1998

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