Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Chris Ferekides, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Don Morel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Y. L. Chiou, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Gilbert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nicholas Djeu, Ph.D.


Antimony, Phosphorus, Doping, ZTO, Barrier


CdTe/CdS thin film solar cells are the most promising cost-effective solar cells. The goal of this project is to improve the performance for CdS/CdTe devices by improving the open circuit voltage Voc and current density Jsc. Efforts focused on increasing the Voc, which include increasing the doping concentration by introducing Phosphorus and Antimony, finding and testing new back contact materials, and varying the ambient of CSS CdTe. In addition, the effect of Zn2SnO4 on the cells' performance was also studied.

Electrical characterization of the thin films and completed devices were carried out by Current-Voltage (J-V), Capacitance-Voltage (C-V), and Spectral Response (SR) measurements. Structural/chemical characterization was done by SEM, XRD and EDS analysis.

The ambient of CSS CdTe affects the growth rate, the grain size and electronic properties of CdTe. The N2/O2 mixture with varied ratio (N2/O2=9/1, 7/3, 5/5 and 1/9) was used in this study. The cells' performance and the net carrier concentration were studied as a function of the N2/O2 ratio. The net carrier concentration increases with the increasing O2 concentration.

The extrinsic impurities (P and Sb) were incorporated into CdTe layer. Phosphorus was directly introduced into CSS CdTe source. The Sb was incorporated into CdTe by a diffusion process. The effects of the annealing parameters, the excess Sb on CdTe surface, the CdCl2 treatment and the depth of Sb in CdTe were studied. Higher doping concentration up to 1016 cm-3 has been achieved, however, Voc is still in the range of 830 mV.