PROJECT PROFILE: Colorado State University (PVRD-SIPS)

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--This project is inactive--

Project Name: Novel Approach to Front-Contact Passivation for Cadmium Telluride Photovoltaics
Funding Opportunity: PVRD-SIPS
SETO Subprogram: Photovoltaics
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Award Amount: $150,000
Awardee Cost Share: $16,667
Project Investigator: Jason Kephart

This project aims to develop front contact passivation for cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaics (PV) through the use of patterned insulating oxides. The result will create much-needed improvements in open circuit voltage through both contact passivation effects and decreased heterojunction area.

Approach

The research team will be adding a thin oxide layer at the interface between the CdTe thin film layer and the buffer layer. The additional oxide layer should allow for improved passivation of the interface, which results in a higher voltage of electricity being produced due to decreased carrier recombination. This process is similar to the one that occurs naturally in silicon cell production and allows for high passivation.

Innovation

This project aims to set a voltage record for high-efficiency polycrystalline CdTe cells. This technology addresses voltage loss, which is the largest performance deficit in CdTe cells, and will dramatically increase CdTe panel performance and reduce costs.