Activation of thin film CdTe solar cells using a cadmium bromide treatment

The activation of CdTe with a cadmium chloride annealing treatment is a vital step in the fabrication of high efficiency solar cells. Thin film MZO/CdTe cells have been activated using CdBr2 instead of CdCl2 with a lower activation process temperature. Using this method, CdBr2 does activate the cell as revealed by J-V and EQE measurements. TEM and EDX elemental maps from device cross-sections confirm that bromine is present in the grain boundaries. TEM shows that the treatment removes stacking faults at 425 °C. CdBr2 treatment resulted in a relatively modest conversion efficiency of 5.49% when treated at 375 °C. Nevertheless, the experiments shed further light on the mechanisms involved in the activation.