Lightweight and low-cost thin film photovoltaics for large area extra-terrestrial applications

Daniel Lamb, James Hall, Mark Baker, Giray Kartopu, Craig Underwood, Rossana Grilli, Stuart Irvine, Rick Kimber, Vincent Barrioz, Andrew Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This work describes progress towards achieving a flexible, high specific power and low-cost photovoltaic (PV) for emerging large area space applications. The study reports the highest conversion efficiency of 15.3% AM1.5G for a CdTe device on ultra-thin cerium-doped cover glass, the standard protective material for extra-terrestrial PVs. The deposition technique used for all of the semiconductor layers comprising the device structure was atmospheric pressure metal organic chemical vapour deposition. Improvements to the device structure over those previously reported led to a Voc of 788 mV and a relatively low series resistance of 3.3 Ω·cm2. These were largely achieved by the introduction of a post-growth air anneal and a refinement of the front contact bus bars, respectively. The aluminium-doped zinc oxide transparent conductive oxide, being the first layer applied to the cover glass, was subject to thermal shock cycling +80 to (-) 196°C to test the adhesion under the extreme conditions likely to be encountered for space application. Scotch Tape testing and sheet resistance measurements before and after the thermal shock testing demonstrated that the aluminium-doped zinc oxide remained well adhered to the cover glass and its electrical performance unchanged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-423
JournalIET Renewable Power Generation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


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