Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Chris S. Ferekides, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Don Morel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sanjukta Bhanja, Ph.D.


Cadmium Sulfide, Vaporization, Post-deposition heat treatment, Fill factor, Annealing


Polycrystalline CdS/CdTe thin film solar cells are among the leading candidates for low-cost, large scale terrestrial photovoltaic applications. CdTe has a high absorption coefficient and it can absorb the radiant energy within less than 2 µm of thickness. This makes it suitable for thin film applications. CdTe has a band gap of 1.45 eV at room temperature, which is nearly optimum for photovoltaic conversion efficiency under the AM 1.5 solar spectrum. The theoretical maximum efficiency for CdTe solar cells is 29%. However, to-date the experimental value is in the 16 % range.

In most cases CdTe cells are subjected to a post-growth heat treatment which involves annealing in the presence of CdCl2. The treatment results in significant increases in conversion efficiency (η) and all three solar cell parameters Voc, FF, and Jsc.

In this work, several variations of the CdCl2 treatment were used on more than 100 samples to investigate their effects on the solar cell parameters. A vapor CdCl2 method was applied for the treatment with various source temperatures, substrate temperatures, and treatment times. The cells were characterized by dark and light J-V and spectral response (SR) measurements.