CuSCN as the Back Contact for Efficient ZMO/CdTe Solar Cells

Materials (Basel). 2020 Apr 24;13(8):1991. doi: 10.3390/ma13081991.


The replacement of traditional CdS with zinc magnesium oxide (ZMO) has been demonstrated as being helpful to boost power conversion efficiency of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells to over 18%, due to the reduced interface recombination and parasitic light absorption by the buffer layer. However, due to the atmosphere sensitivity of ZMO film, the post treatments of ZMO/CdTe stacks, including CdCl2 treatment, back contact deposition, etc., which are critical for high-performance CdTe solar cells became crucial challenges. To realize the full potential of the ZMO buffer layer, plenty of investigations need to be accomplished. Here, copper thiocyanate (CuSCN) is demonstrated to be a suitable back-contact material with multi-advantages for ZMO/CdTe solar cells. Particularly, ammonium hydroxide as the solvent for CuSCN deposition shows no detrimental impact on the ZMO layer during the post heat treatment. The post annealing temperature as well as the thickness of CuSCN films are investigated. Finally, a champion power conversion efficiency of 16.7% is achieved with an open-circuit voltage of 0.857 V, a short-circuit current density of 26.2 mA/cm2, and a fill factor of 74.0%.

Keywords: CdTe; CuSCN; copper thiocyanate; zinc magnesium oxide.