Transition metal nitride contacts for CdTe photovoltaics

Zhengfeng Yang, P. Koirala, R. W. Collins, K. Aryal, S. Marsillac, Angus Rockett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


CdS/CdTe thin film photovoltaics were produced with transition metal nitrides (TMNs) as back contacts. The devices show photovoltaic activity but a significant Schottky barrier was found at the back contact. Solar cells perform better as the ZrN films are thicker due to improved microstructure. The good reflectance of ZrN makes it acts as a reflective layer to reduce optical losses and lower the thickness of CdTe. Pure N2 plasma treatment of the back surface of the CdTe and annealing did not improve the performance. A thin layer of Cu was introduced to dope the CdTe and completed with a ZrN film but more amount of Cu deteriorates the performance. Although the nitrides are highly stable and have good electrical properties, we have not been able to obtain devices to date that are not limited by the back contacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 IEEE 40th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781479943982
StatePublished - Oct 15 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jun 8 2014Jun 13 2014

Publication series

Name2014 IEEE 40th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014


Other40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Annealing
  • CdTe photovoltaics
  • Cu doping
  • plasma treatment
  • Schottky barrier
  • transition metal nitrides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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