Cu in CdTe Lab (2D Version)

By Abdul Rawoof Shaik1, Dragica Vasileska1, Da Guo1, Richard Akis1

1. Arizona State University

2D diffusion-reaction simulator of Cu migration in polycrystaline CdTe solar cells with Grain Boundaries

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Version 0.2 - published on 24 Aug 2016

doi:10.4231/D32N4ZJ9X cite this

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Cu plays an important role in CdTe solar cell by forming back contact and dopants. Small amount of Cu partially diffused into the CdTe absorber layer results in increased hole density, and improved open circuit voltage (Voc). On the other hand, long term Cu migration in CdTe solar cells is related to device degradation [1]. Excess Cu creates recombination centers that significantly reduce the fill factor (FF) and Voc [2-4]. In the process level, high accumulation of the Cu near the back contact can be explained by the Cd vacancies generated in the etching process and can be seen as the Cu2Te contact layer [5,6]. Cu also diffuses into the CdTe layer and serves as both donors (Cui), acceptors (CuCd) and neutral defects (CuCd or CuCd-Cui complex) [7-10].

This tool (predicts2D) implements a diffusion-reaction model for Cu migration in CdTe polycrystalline solar cells that can be used to understand and potentially optimize Cu incorporation processes. predicts2D can also be used to understand long term reliability issues, specifically dark/light crossover and distortions in apparent quantum efficiency [2], related to defects in CdTe devices.

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[2]   C. Corwine, A. Pudov, M. Gloeckler, S. Demtsu, and J. Sites, "Copper inclusion and migration from the back contact in CdTe solar cells," Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 82, pp. 481-489, 2004.

[3]  S. Demtsu, D. Albin, J. Sites, W. Metzger, and A. Duda, "Cu-related recombination in CdS/CdTe solar cells," Thin Solid Films, vol. 516, pp. 2251-2254, 2008.

[4]   A. Pudov, M. Gloeckler, S. Demtsu, J. Sites, K. Barth, R. Enzenroth, et al., "Effect of back-contact copper concentration on CdTe cell operation," in Proceedings of the 29th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, New Orleans, LA, 2002, pp. 760-763.

[5]   S.-H. Wei, S. Zhang, and A. Zunger, "First-principles calculation of band offsets, optical bowings, and defects in CdS, CdSe, CdTe, and their alloys," Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 87, pp. 1304-1311, 2000.

[6]   B. McCandless and J. Sites, "Chapter 14 of Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering. Chichester," ed: West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.

[7]   E. Kučys, J. Jerhot, K. Bertulis, and V. Bariss, "Copper impurity behaviour in CdTe films," Physica Status Solidi (a), vol. 59, pp. 91-99, 1980.

[8]   J. Perrenoud, L. Kranz, C. Gretener, F. Pianezzi, S. Nishiwaki, S. Buecheler, et al., "A comprehensive picture of Cu doping in CdTe solar cells," Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 114, 2013.

[9]   D. Krasikov, A. Knizhnik, B. Potapkin, S. Selezneva, and T. Sommerer, "First-principles-based analysis of the influence of Cu on CdTe electronic properties," Thin Solid Films, vol. 535, pp. 322-325, 2013.

[10] D. Krasikov, A. Knizhnik, B. Potapkin, and T. Sommerer, "Why shallow defect levels alone do not cause high resistivity in CdTe," Semiconductor Science and Technology, vol. 28, 2013.

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Developed at ASU, First Solar, CSU, NREL

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This work was supported by the Department of Energy under award number DE-EE0006344. 

This work was also partially supported by NSF under contract number ECCS-1542160.


D. Brinkman, D. Guo, R. Akis, C. Ringhofer, I. Sankin, T. Fang, and D. Vasileska, “Self-Consistent Simulation of CdTe Solar Cells With Active Defects”, J. Appl. Phys. Vol. 118, pp. , 035704-1 - 035704-11, July, 2015.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • D. Brinkman, D. Guo, R. Akis, C. Ringhofer, I. Sankin, T. Fang, and D. Vasileska, “Self-Consistent Simulation of CdTe Solar Cells With Active Defects”, J. Appl. Phys. Vol. 118, pp. , 035704-1 - 035704-11, July, 2015.

  • Abdul Rawoof Shaik, Dragica Vasileska, Da Guo, Richard Akis (2016), "Cu in CdTe Lab (2D Version)," (DOI: 10.4231/D32N4ZJ9X).

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