Ultra-thin CdTe:As/Cd1-xZnxS photovoltaic solar cells with an absorber thickness of 0.5 µm were deposited by metal-organic chemical vapour deposition on indium tin oxide coated boro-aluminosilicate substrates. The Zn precursor concentration was varied to compensate for Zn leaching effects after CdCl2 activation treatment. Analysis of the solar cell composition and structure by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy depth profiling and X-ray diffraction showed that higher concentrations of Zn in the Cd1-xZnxS window layer resulted in suppression of S diffusion across the CdTe/Cd1-xZnxS interface after CdCl2 activation treatment. Excessive Zn content in the Cd1-xZnxS alloy preserved the spectral response in the blue region of the solar spectrum, but increased series resistance for the solar cells. A modest increase in the Zn content of the Cd1-xZnxS alloy together with a post-deposition air anneal resulted in an improved blue response and an enhanced open circuit voltage and fill factor. This device yielded a mean efficiency of 8.3% over 8 cells (0.25 cm2 cell area) and best cell efficiency of 8.8%.
The performance of single crystal CdZnTe radiation detectors is dependent on both the bulk and the surface properties of the material. After single crystal fabrication and mechanical polishing, modification of the surface to remove damage and reduce the surface leakage current is generally achieved through chemical etching followed by a passivation treatment. In this work, CdZnTe single crystals have been chemically etched using a bromine in methanol (BM) treatment. The BM concentrations employed were 0.2 and 2.0 (v/v) % and exposure times varied between 5 and 120 s. Angle resolved XPS and sputter depth profiling has been employed to characterize the surfaces for the different exposure conditions. A Te rich surface layer was formed for all exposures and the layer thickness was found to be independent of exposure time. The enriched Te layer thickness was accurately determined by calibrating the sputter rate against a CdTe layer of known thickness. For BM concentrations of 0.2 (v/v) % and 2 (v/v) %, the Te layer thickness was determined to be 1.3 ± 0.2 and 1.8 ± 0.2 nm, respectively. The BM etched surfaces have subsequently been passivated in a 30 wt.% HO solution employing exposure time of 15 s. The oxide layer thickness has been calculated using two standard XPS methodologies, based on the Beer-Lambert expression. The TeO thickness calculated from ARXPS data are slightly higher than the thickness obtained by the simplified Beer-Lambert expression. For BM exposures of 30-120 s followed by a passivation treatment of 30 wt. % HO solution employing an exposure time 15 s, the ARXPS method gave an average TeO thickness value of 1.20 nm and the simplified Beer-Lambert expression gave an average thickness value of 0.99 nm. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.