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Effect of window layer composition in Cd1−xZnxS/CdTe solar cells



To improve CdS/CdTe cell/module efficiencies, CdS window layer thinning is commonly applied despite the risk of increased pin-hole defects and shunting. An alternative approach is to widen the band gap of the window layer (2.42 eV for CdS) via alloying, for example, by forming compositions of Cd1−xZnxS. In this study, the performance of Cd1−xZnxS/CdTe thin-film solar cells has been studied as a function of x (from x = 0 to 0.9), widening the window layer band gap up to and over 3.4 eV. Optimum Cd1−xZnxS compositions were clearly identified to be around x = 0.7, and limitations to the achievable photocurrent and conversion efficiencies have been addressed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.