A microstructural study on the surface and interface of CdTe/CdS solar cells

Kun Li, A. T.S. Wee*, J. Lin, K. L. Tan, L. Zhou, S. F.Y. Li, Z. C. Feng, H. C. Chou, S. Kamra, A. Rohatgi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The surface and interface properties of CdTe/CdS solar cells, including interfacial mixing, surface and interface geometrical morphology, CdTe grain size and preferential crystal orientation of CdTe layers were studied using Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) depth profiling, atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, optical reflectance (OR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. The correlation between the surface and interface properties and CdTe/CdS solar cell performance was also investigated. AES depth profiling was used to analyse the interdiffusion between the CdTe and CdS layers. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) suggests that the interfacial geometrical morphology has a significant influence on the photovoltaic property of CdTe/CdS solar cells. Rough interfaces tend to increase the photovoltaic conversion efficiency of solar cells because of multiple reflections. X-ray diffraction shows that polycrystalline CdTe/CdS solar cells with higher efficiencies appear to be orientated with more (1 1 1) planes of CdTe parallel to the macrosurface, but CdTe single crystals with differently indexed surface planes show almost the same reflection behaviour. Further theoretical and experimental analyses are therefore needed to clarify this observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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