Graded-bandgap solar cells using all-electrodeposited ZnS, CdS and CdTe thin-films

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Abstract

A 3-layer graded-bandgap solar cell with glass/FTO/ZnS/CdS/CdTe/Au structure has been fabricated using all-electrodeposited ZnS, CdS and CdTe thin layers. The three semiconductor layers were electrodeposited using a two-electrode system for process simplification. The incorporation of a wide bandgap amorphous ZnS as a buffer/window layer to form glass/FTO/ZnS/CdS/CdTe/Au solar cell resulted in the formation of this 3-layer graded-bandgap device structure. This has yielded corresponding improvement in all the solar cell parameters resulting in a conversion efficiency >10% under AM1.5 illumination conditions at room temperature, compared to the 8.0% efficiency of a 2-layer glass/FTO/CdS/CdTe/Au reference solar cell structure. These results demonstrate the advantages of the multi-layer graded-bandgap device architecture over the conventional 2-layer structure. In addition, they demonstrate the effective application of the two-electrode system as a simplification to the conventional three-electrode system in the electrodeposition of semiconductors with the elimination of the reference electrode as a possible impurity source.

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Echendu, O. K., & Dharmadasa, I. M. (2015). Graded-bandgap solar cells using all-electrodeposited ZnS, CdS and CdTe thin-films. Energies, 8(5), 4416–4435. https://doi.org/10.3390/en8054416

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