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Back contacts materials used in thin film CdTe solar cells—A review / Ralph Hall, Dan Lamb, Stuart Irvine

Energy Science & Engineering, Volume: 9, Issue: 5, Pages: 606 - 632

Swansea University Authors: Ralph Hall, Dan Lamb, Stuart Irvine

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DOI (Published version): 10.1002/ese3.843

Abstract

CdTe is the leading commercial thin film photovoltaic technology with current record laboratory efficiency (22.1%). However, there is much potential for progress toward the Shockley‐Queisser limit (32%). The best CdTe devices have short‐circuit current close to the limit but open‐circuit voltage has...

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Published in: Energy Science & Engineering
ISSN: 2050-0505 2050-0505
Published: Wiley 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa56320
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Abstract: CdTe is the leading commercial thin film photovoltaic technology with current record laboratory efficiency (22.1%). However, there is much potential for progress toward the Shockley‐Queisser limit (32%). The best CdTe devices have short‐circuit current close to the limit but open‐circuit voltage has much room for improvement. Back contact optimization is likely to play a key role in any improvement. Back contact material choice is also influenced by their applicability in more complex architectures such as bifacial and tandem solar cells, where high visible and/or near‐infrared transparency is required in conjunction with their electrical properties. The CdTe research community has employed many back contact materials and processes to realize them. Excellent reviews of back contacts were published by McCandless and Sites (2011) and Kumar and Rao (2014). There have been numerous publications on CdTe back contacts since 2014. This review includes both recent and older literature to give a comprehensive picture. It includes a categorization of back contact interface materials into groups such as oxides, chalcogenides, pnictides, halides, and organics. The authors attempt to identify the more promising material groups. Attention is drawn to parallels with back contact materials used on other thin film photovoltaics such as perovskites and kesterites.
Keywords: back contacts, CdTe, contact materials, solar cell efficiency, thin film solar cells
College: College of Engineering
Funders: EPSRC
Issue: 5
Start Page: 606
End Page: 632