1-s2.0-S0040609014010207-main.pdf (739.14 kB)
Download file

The activation of thin film CdTe solar cells using alternative chlorine containing compounds

Download (739.14 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 30.04.2015, 10:49 by Bianca Maniscalco, Ali AbbasAli Abbas, Jake BowersJake Bowers, Piotr Kaminski, Kevin BassKevin Bass, Geoff West, Michael WallsMichael Walls
The re-crystallisation of thin film cadmium telluride (CdTe) using cadmium chloride (CdCl2) is a vital process for obtaining high efficiency photovoltaic devices. However, the precise micro-structural mechanisms involved are not well understood. In this study, we have used alternative chlorine-containing compounds to determine if these can also assist the re-crystallisation of the CdTe layer and to understand the separate roles of cadmium and chlorine during the activation. The compounds used were: tellurium tetrachloride (TeCl4), cadmium acetate (Cd(CH3CO2)2), hydrochloric acid (HCl) and zinc chloride (ZnCl2). TeCl4was used to assess the role of Cl and the formation of a Te-rich outer layer which may assist the formation of the back contact. (Cd(CH3CO2)2) and HCl were used to distinguish between the roles of cadmium and chlorine in the process. Finally, ZnCl2was employed as an alternative to CdCl2. We report on the efficacy of using these alternative Cl-containing compounds to remove the high density of planar defects present in untreated CdTe.


The authors are grateful to Dr. K. Barth and Professor W.S. Sampath of the Colorado State University for the supply of CSS deposited thin film CdTe cells using their process of reference. The authors are also grateful to EPSRC (EP/J017361/1) for funding through the Supergen SuperSolar Hub.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

Published in

Thin Solid Films




115 - 119


MANISCALCO, B. ... et al., 2015. The activation of thin film CdTe solar cells using alternative chlorine containing compounds. Thin Solid Films, 582, pp. 115 - 119.


© The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Publication date



Presented at E-MRS 2014 Spring Meeting, Symposium A, Thin-Film Chalcogenide Photovoltaic Materials. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).