Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Christos Ferekides, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Don Morel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andrew Hoff, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Gilbert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Rabson, Ph.D.


Defects, Minority Carrier Lifetime, Thin Films, Solar Cell, Doping, Vapor Transport


The Cadmium Telluride thin film solar cell is one of the leading photovoltaic technologies. Efficiency improvements in the past decade made it a very attractive and practical source of renewable energy. Considering the theoretical limit, there is still room for improvement, especially the cell’s open circuit voltage (VOC). To improve VOC, the p-type carrier concentration and minority carrier lifetime of the CdTe absorber needs to be improved. Both these parameters are directly related to the point defect distribution of the semiconductor, which is a function of deposition stoichiometry, dopant incorporation and post-deposition treatments.

CdTe films were deposited by the Elemental Vapor Transport (EVT) deposition method, which allowed in situ control of the vapor phase stoichiometry (Cd/Te ratio). Extrinsic doping of polycrystalline CdTe by in situ incorporation of antimony (Sb) and phosphorus (P) was investigated. The structural and electrical properties of CdTe thin films and solar cells were studied. Sb and P incorporation were found to increase the net p-doping concentration. Cl and Sb improved the minority carrier lifetime of polycrystalline CdTe, while lower lifetime with Cu and P doped films were indicated. Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS) was performed on devices fabricated with different deposition stoichiometry, post-deposition treatments, and phosphorus dopant dose. Several majority and minority carrier traps were identified, and assigned to different point defects based on first principle studies in the literature and experimental conditions used for the deposition and processing of the thin films.