The effect of surface treatments on p-CdTe/n-CdS solar cell performance was examined. Adsorption of organic molecules with various magnitudes and directions of the dipole moment on p-CdTe resulted in controlled changes in electron affinity and surface band bending. Similar adsorption on CdTe in state-of-the-art p-CdTe/n-CdS solar cells changes the cell performance, and we explain this by a combination of increased series resistance and changes in light absorption and in cell photovoltage. While at this stage no improvement in performance has been found with these cell structures, which are the result of years of empirical optimization, the molecular effect on the photovoltage shows that it is possible in this way to control the photovoltaic effect at this junction. Separate optimization may well lead to improvement by inserting a dipole layer near the photovoltaic interface. Our results also show that this is even possible when dipole adsorption is performed on the complete polycrystalline thin-film cell.
- Molecular devices
- Solar cells