Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Committee for the Interdisciplinary Program in Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Ken K. Chin

Second Advisor

Alan E. Delahoy

Third Advisor

N. M. Ravindra

Fourth Advisor

Dong Kyun Ko

Fifth Advisor

Yong Yan


The front end of CdTe solar cells consists of two layers: a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) layer and a window layer. New wider band gap materials, ZnMgO are being used to replace CdS as the window layer for the purpose of removing blue loss. For ZnMgO, three important parameters, including the atomic Mg content (x), thickness (t), and doping concentration (n) can play important roles on the performance of CdTe solar cells. In this dissertation, systematic simulation, by solar cell capacitance simulator (SCAPS), and experiments are used to investigate the influences of these parameters on the performance of CdTe solar cells.

The optimized parameters of the window layer are found as follows: 10% atomic Mg content to adjust the value of conduction band offset at 0.3 eV. 40 nm thickness with 1018 cm-3 doping concentration to form an n+-p junction structure with the p-type CdTe absorber. Besides, the optimized thickness of different types of TCO is also theoretical calculated. Some novel ideas have been proposed and discussed, but may not be able to enhance the performance of CdTe solar cells.