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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2010, Article ID 578580, 8 pages
Research Article

Prospects of Back Surface Field Effect in Ultra-Thin High-Efficiency CdS/CdTe Solar Cells from Numerical Modeling

1Department of Electrical, Electronics and System Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The National University of Malaysia (UKM), 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2Solar Energy Research Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi, Selangor 43600, Malaysia
3Center of Excellence for Research in Engineering Materials (CEREM), College of Engineering, King Saud University, Riyadh 11421, Saudi Arabia
4Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), Chittagong 4348, Bangladesh

Received 31 August 2010; Accepted 18 November 2010

Academic Editor: Fahrettin Yakuphanoglu

Copyright © 2010 Nowshad Amin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polycrystalline CdTe shows greater promises for the development of cost-effective, efficient, and reliable thin film solar cells. Results of numerical analysis using AMPS-1D simulator in exploring the possibility of ultrathin, high efficiency, and stable CdS/CdTe cells are presented. The conventional baseline case structure of CdS/CdTe cell has been explored with reduced CdTe absorber and CdS window layer thickness, where 1 μm thin CdTe and 50 nm CdS layers showed reasonable efficiencies over 15%. The viability of 1 μm CdTe absorber layer together with possible back surface field (BSF) layers to reduce minority carrier recombination loss at the back contact in ultra thin CdS/CdTe cells was investigated. Higher bandgap material like ZnTe and low bandgap materials like Sb2Te3 and As2Te3 as BSF were inserted to reduce the holes barrier height in the proposed ultra thin CdS/CdTe cells. The proposed structure of SnO2/Zn2SnO4/CdS/CdTe/As2Te3/Cu showed the highest conversion efficiency of 18.6% (Voc = 0.92 V, Jsc = 24.97 mA/cm2, and FF = 0.81). However, other proposed structures such as SnO2/Zn2SnO4/CdS/CdTe/Sb2Te3/Mo and SnO2/Zn2SnO4/CdS/CdTe/ZnTe/Al have also shown better stability at higher operating temperatures with acceptable efficiencies. Moreover, it was found that the cells normalized efficiency linearly decreased with the increased operating temperature with relatively lower gradient, which eventually indicates better stability of the proposed ultra thin CdS/CdTe cells.