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Analysis of the ZnTe:Cu Contact on CdS/CdTe Solar Cells

  • T.A. Gessert (a1), M.J. Romero (a1), R.G. Dhere (a1) and S.E. Asher (a1)


We report on the recent use of cathodoluminescence (CL) to probe the depth-dependent changes in radiative recombination that occur in CdTe devices during ZnTe:Cu contacting procedures. These types of CL measurements may be useful to assist in linking impurity diffusion (e.g., Cu) from the contact with depth-dependent variation in electrical activation within the CdTe layer. Variable-energy CL suggests that diffusion from the ZnTe:Cu contact interface may assist in reducing effects of shallow donors in the CdTe bulk, and yield higher acceptor levels in the region near the contact. CL analysis near abrupt metal discontinuities provides estimates of diffusion lengths for carriers associated with both excitonic and donor-to-acceptor pair recombination. Finally, CL measurements at increasing excitation levels (i.e., increasing electron-beam current) provides estimates of the defect state density, as well as providing evidence that discrete multiple defect bands may exist in CdTe prior to contacting.



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