Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin film photovoltaic devices fabricated in -line process developed at Colorado State University (CSU) have shown stability during long-term (over a 5 year period) accelerated stress testing. These devices have a copper (Cu) containing back contact. The Cu profile as measured by secondary ion mass spectrometry characterization shows, for the maximum stressed device (23,399 h), that there is a significant (two times) change in the concentration of secondary Cu ions in the bulk of the material; however, the Cu concentration gradient at the back of the device has no significant change, and the CdS layer has no significant Cu concentration increase at open-circuit bias and temperature conditions. This indicates that with a proper treatment, Cu can be used to form the back contact for CdTe devices with acceptable stability. These devices have a projected field lifetime of greater than 60 years.
Stable Cu-Based Back Contacts for CdTe Thin Film Photovoltaic Devices
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Enzenroth, R. A., Barth, K. L., Sampath, W. S., Manivannan, V., Kirkpatrick, A. T., and Noronha, P. (April 9, 2009). "Stable Cu-Based Back Contacts for CdTe Thin Film Photovoltaic Devices." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. May 2009; 131(2): 021012. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3090820
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