Examining the role of ultra-thin atomic layer deposited metal oxide barrier layers on CdTe/ITO interface stability during the fabrication of solution processed nanocrystalline solar cells

Benjamin A. Chambers, Brandon I. MacDonald, Mihail Ionescu, Alec Deslandes, Jamie S. Quinton, Jacek J. Jasieniak, Gunther G. Andersson

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Solution processed CdTe layers are a potentially low-cost alternative for use in thin-film solar cells. We have recently reported the use of such nanocrystalline layers within ITO/CdTe/ZnO/Al device architectures. One key concern with this type of device structure is the possibility of atomic scale interdiffusion between the ITO and CdTe layers, which can result in deleterious n-type doping of the CdTe layer. Rutherford Backscattering has been used to study the chemical composition across the ITO/CdTe interface as a function of thermal annealing temperature. Through these measurements we verify that interdiffusion is observed across the interface for annealing temperatures above 200 ?C, and the extent of interdiffusion increases with temperature. Ultra-thin alumina, zirconia and titania layers deposited between the ITO and CdTe layers have been studied for their potential to act as a diffusion barrier. All investigated barriers successfully suppress interdiffusion. The outcomes of these compositional studies are directly compared to solar cells fabricated under analogous processing conditions, demonstrating improved cell performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-169
Number of pages6
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

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