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Proton Irradiation of CdTe Thin Film Photovoltaics Deposited on Cerium-Doped Space Glass

Lamb, Dan A., Underwood, Craig, Barrioz, Vincent, Gwilliam, Russell, Hall, James, Baker, Mark and Irvine, Stuart J. C. (2017) Proton Irradiation of CdTe Thin Film Photovoltaics Deposited on Cerium-Doped Space Glass Progress in Photovoltaics.

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Space photovoltaics is dominated by multi-junction (III-V) technology. However, emerging applications will require solar arrays with; high specific power (kW/kg), flexibility in stowage and deployment and a significantly lower cost than the current III-V technology offers. This research demonstrates direct deposition of thin film CdTe onto the radiation-hard cover glass that is normally laminated to any solar cell deployed in space. Four CdTe samples, with 9 defined contact device areas of 0.25 cm2, were irradiated with protons of 0.5 MeV energy and varying fluences. At the lowest fluence, 1×1012 cm-2, the relative efficiency of the solar cells was 95%. Increasing the proton fluence to 1×1013 cm-2 and then 1×1014 cm-2 decreased the solar cell efficiency to 82% and 4% respectively. At the fluence of 1×1013 cm-2, carrier concentration was reduced by an order of magnitude. Solar Cell Capacitance Simulator (SCAPS) modelling obtained a good fit from a reduction in shallow acceptor concentration with no change in the deep trap defect concentration. The more highly irradiated devices resulted in a buried junction characteristic of the external quantum efficiency, indicating further deterioration of the acceptor doping. This is explained by compensation from interstitial H+ formed by the proton absorption. An anneal of the 1×1014 cm-2 fluence devices gave an efficiency increase from 4% to 73% of the pre-irradiated levels, indicating that the compensation was reversible. CdTe with its rapid recovery through annealing, demonstrates a radiation hardness to protons that is far superior to conventional multi-junction III-V solar cells.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Authors :
Date : 2 August 2017
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 06 Jul 2017 10:39
Last Modified : 13 Sep 2017 13:49

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