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Rapid recombination by cadmium vacancies in CdTe

DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00380 DOI Help

Authors: Seán R. Kavanagh (University College London; Imperial College London) , Aron Walsh (Yonsei University) , David O. Scanlon (University College London; Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acs Energy Letters , VOL 6 , PAGES 1392 - 1398

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2021

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: CdTe is currently the largest thin-film photovoltaic technology. Non-radiative electron–hole recombination reduces the solar conversion efficiency from an ideal value of 32% to a current champion performance of 22%. The cadmium vacancy (VCd) is a prominent acceptor species in p-type CdTe; however, debate continues regarding its structural and electronic behavior. Using ab initio defect techniques, we calculate a negative-U double-acceptor level for VCd, while reproducing the VCd1– hole–polaron, reconciling theoretical predictions with experimental observations. We find the cadmium vacancy facilitates rapid charge-carrier recombination, reducing maximum power-conversion efficiency by over 5% for untreated CdTe—a consequence of tellurium dimerization, metastable structural arrangements, and anharmonic potential energy surfaces for carrier capture.

Diamond Keywords: Photovoltaics

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Materials

Technical Areas:

Added On: 28/03/2021 10:36


Discipline Tags:

Earth Sciences & Environment Climate Change Energy Sustainable Energy Systems Materials Science Energy Materials Physics Surfaces interfaces and thin films

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