Funding Opportunity: SuNLaMP
SunShot Subprogram: Photovoltaics
Location: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Amount Awarded: $6,900,000

While crystalline silicon accounted for two thirds of the photovoltaic (PV) market in 2014, cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV modules are becoming increasingly competitive with continued improvements in efficiency and reduction in price. This project will enable 24% efficient CdTe cells by improving the defect chemistry and structural properties of polycrystalline cadmium telluride (CdTe) necessary to overcome photovoltage barriers, the main hurdle to higher efficiency of commercial CdTe PV.


This project will advance the use of doping in polycrystalline CdTe and improve the way the CdTe community passivates and characterizes grain boundaries. New dopants, new post-processing methods, and new characterization tools and models will be developed and novel CdTe device architectures will be explored.


Establishing CdTe defect chemistry and improving doping will enable 24% efficiency for CdTe cells and establish CdTe as a competitive technology to outperform crystalline silicon in terms of overall cost, bringing more solar manufacturing to the U.S.