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A simple Sb2Te3 back-contact process for CdTe solar cells

: Siepchen, B.; Späth, B.; Drost, C.; Krishnakumar, V.; Kraft, C.; Winkler, M.; König, J.; Bartholomé, K.; Peng, S.


Journal of Electronic Materials 44 (2015), No.10, pp.3354-3359
ISSN: 0361-5235
ISSN: 1543-186X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPM ()

CdTe solar technology has proved to be a cost-efficient solution for energy production. Formation of the back contact is an important and critical step in preparing high-efficiency, stable CdTe solar cells. In this paper we report a simple CdTe solar cell (Sb2Te3) back contact-formation process. The CdS and CdTe layers were deposited by close-space sublimation. After CdCl2 annealing treatment, the CdTe surface was etched by use of a mixture of nitric and phosphoric acids to obtain a Te-rich surface. Elemental Sb was sputtered on the etched surface and successive post-annealing treatment induced Sb2Te3 alloy formation. Structural characterization by x-ray diffraction analysis confirmed formation of the Sb2Te3 phase. The performance of solar cells with nanoalloyed Sb2Te3 back contacts was comparable with that of reference solar cells prepared with sputtered Sb2Te< inf>3 back contact from a compound sputter target.