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Proton irradiation of CdTe thin film photovoltaics deposited on cerium‐doped space glass

Lamb, DA, Underwood, Craig, Barrioz, V, Gwilliam, Russell, Hall, James, Baker, Mark and Irvine, SJC (2017) Proton irradiation of CdTe thin film photovoltaics deposited on cerium‐doped space glass Progress in Photovoltaics, 25 (12). pp. 1059-1067.

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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 multijunction III‐V solar cells.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Authors :
Lamb, DA
Barrioz, V
Irvine, SJC
Date : 2 August 2017
Funders : EPSRC
DOI : 10.1002/pip.2923
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 The Authors. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : cadmium telluride, photovoltaic cells, proton radiation, space technology, thin film solar cells
Depositing User : Users 8 not found.
Date Deposited : 04 Aug 2017 09:37
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:24

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