Project Name: Diagnosing and Overcoming Recombination and Resistive Losses
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Tempe, AZ
SETO Award Amount: $1,500,000
Awardee Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Zachary Holman

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

Techniques used to assess the performance of photovoltaic (PV) cells have proven successful for advancing crystalline silicon cell research efforts, but have yet to be developed for cadmium selenium telluride (CdSeTe) and perovskite solar cells. Analytical tools that conduct comprehensive analyses of performance limitations can help identify potential points of failure and inform cell improvement activities. In this project, researchers are measuring resistive losses and key performance metrics for CdSeTe cells through the use of a novel characterization platform, and will then correlate the findings to refine device development processes to create more efficient solar cells. 

APPROACH

The research team plans to develop and validate a new characterization tool for analysis of CdSeTe solar cells to identify sources of defects and to mitigate performance losses. This design model will adapt existing silicon cell evaluation techniques for use with more complex material systems. Cell characterization will include capacitance-voltage, absorptance, and contact resistance measurements, which will help researchers better understand the collection of properties that govern cell performance and identify areas of development to achieve cell efficiencies higher than 24%. 

INNOVATION

Advancing CdSeTe technology with instruments that enable better understanding the factors impacting performance is necessary to engineer better solutions. The success of this project demonstrates the potential to support new device architectures, expand material choices, and explore unique contacting methods for enhanced CdSeTe solar cell performance.