Monocrystalline CdTe solar cells with open-circuit voltage over 1 v and efficiency of 17%

Yuan Zhao, Mathieu Boccard, Shi Liu, Jacob Becker, Xin Hao Zhao, Calli M. Campbell, Ernesto Suarez, Maxwell B. Lassise, Zachary Holman, Yong-Hang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


The open-circuit voltages of mature single-junction photovoltaic devices are lower than the bandgap energy of the absorber, typically by a gap of 400 mV. For CdTe, which has a bandgap of 1.5 eV, the gap is larger; for polycrystalline samples, the open-circuit voltage of solar cells with the record efficiency is below 900 mV, whereas for monocrystalline samples it has only recently achieved values barely above 1 V. Here, we report a monocrystalline CdTe/MgCdTe double-heterostructure solar cell with open-circuit voltages of up to 1.096 V. The latticed-matched MgCdTe barrier layers provide excellent passivation to the CdTe absorber, resulting in a carrier lifetime of 3.6 μs. The solar cells are made of 1- to 1.5-μm-thick n-type CdTe absorbers, and passivated hole-selective p-type a-SiC y:H contacts. This design allows CdTe solar cells to be made thinner and more efficient. The best power conversion efficiency achieved in a device with this structure is 17.0%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16067
JournalNature Energy
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 9 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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