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By TRUNNANO | 22 April 2024 | 0 Comments

What is Cadmium telluride CdTe and CdTe solar cell?

With the growing interest in renewable energy, solar cells serve as one of the most important sources of clean energy in the future. Currently, the most commonly used solar cells are crystalline silicon-based solar cells, but in addition to the attention paid to crystalline silicon cells, thin-film cells with cadmium telluride (CdTe) as the absorber layer are also in the industry spotlight. So, what is a CdTe solar cell? What are its production principles and application areas?
What is Cadmium telluride CdTe?
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is an important Ⅱ-VI compound semiconductor material, the shape of black crystal particles or powder, melting point of 1092 ℃, relative molecular weight of 240, the crystal structure of sphalerite type, with a direct jump type energy band structure. Its lattice constant is 0.6481nm, forbidden bandwidth is 1.45eV, room temperature electron mobility is 1050 c/(Vs), room temperature hole mobility is 80 c/(Vs).
Characteristics of CdTe
Crystal structure: Cadmium telluride has a sphalerite-type crystal structure, and this structure makes CdTe important in semiconductor materials. It has a lattice constant of 0.6481 nm, which determines the closeness of its atomic arrangement and the state of motion of its electrons.
Energy band structure: CdTe has a direct-leap energy band structure, which makes the electron leaps between the energy bands more efficient. Thus, CdTe has excellent optoelectronic properties.
Electrical and optical properties: The electrical and optical properties of CdTe change with temperature, which enables it to maintain stable performance under different temperature conditions. In addition, CdTe has a forbidden bandwidth of 1.5eV (25°C), a room temperature electron mobility of 1050Cm²/(V s), a room temperature hole mobility of 80Cm²/(V s), and an effective mass of electrons of 0.096. Together, these parameters determine the potential of CdTe for applications in electronics and optics.
Physical form: CdTe can be formed into different forms, such as monocrystalline and polycrystalline, offering the possibility of its application in several fields.
Composition and power generation principle of CdTe solar panel?
CdTe solar cells mainly use thin film deposition technology to deposit a CdTe thin film on the conductive substrate and then realize the PN junction through doping, evaporation, and other processes.
The working principle of CdTe solar cells
The working principle of CdTe solar cells is mainly based on the photoelectric effect. CdTe solar cells generate electric current by absorbing sunlight to excite electrons. When the sun's rays irradiate the surface of CdTe solar cells, the photons pass through the glass or plastic substrate and interact with the electrons in the CdTe film, which excites the electrons from the valence band to the conduction band, generating electron-hole pairs Under the action of the electric field, the electrons, and holes are separated, with the electrons moving toward the negative pole and the holes moving toward the positive pole. This separation causes the electrons and holes to accumulate at the negative and positive electrodes, respectively. The electrons and holes gathered at the negative and positive electrodes are connected by wires to form an electric current. As the electrons and holes move, they create an electric current in the CdTe film, which converts solar energy into electricity.
CdTe application scenarios
1. BIPV building integration
CdTe thin-film solar cell technology combined with glass has the most competitive and development potential. It has been applied in many building projects at home and abroad, with significant advantages in reducing building energy consumption and costs, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and alleviating the demand for electricity in buildings. The use of CdTe solar cell technology combined with large-area glass façade, doors and windows enables architectural glass to generate electricity and realize architectural photovoltaic integration. This application has the advantages of reducing building energy consumption and costs, reducing CO2 emissions, and alleviating building electricity demand.
2. Flexible photovoltaic modules
CdTe solar cells can be prepared as lightweight, bendable and flexible films. This convenient "lightweight" solar cell can reduce the cost of transportation and mounting and has a bright future in the application of solar energy drones, spacecraft, and artificial satellites.
3. Optoelectronic devices
Because of its excellent photovoltaic properties, CdTe is widely used in the manufacture of solar cells, photodetectors and other optoelectronic devices. In the field of solar cells, CdTe thin-film solar cells have received wide attention for their high efficiency, low cost and good stability.
4. Radiation Detector
CdTe is also used in the manufacture of radiation detectors for the detection of X-rays, γ-rays, and other radiation. Its high sensitivity and stability make it important in medical, security, and other fields.
5. Infrared Detector
Cadmium telluride is also widely used in infrared detection and can be used to manufacture infrared detectors for military, security, and other fields.
6. Green building field
In recent years, CdTe power generation glass has received attention as a new type of green building material. This kind of power generation glass combines CdTe film with glass, which has the function of power generation and maintains the transparency of glass. It has a wide range of applications in curtain walls, highways, airports, industrial and commercial buildings, etc. It not only helps to save energy and reduce emissions but also improves the energy utilization efficiency of buildings.
Health effects of CdTe
Although CdTe has a wide range of applications in several fields, the cadmium it contains has also raised concerns about its health effects. Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal element, and long-term exposure to or ingestion of cadmium and its compounds may have adverse effects on human health. Therefore, when using cadmium telluride and its products, safety precautions must be taken to avoid direct contact with and inhalation of its dust.

CdTe powder supplier
Luoyang Tongrun Nano Technology Co. Ltd. (TRUNNANO) is a trusted global chemical material supplier & manufacturer with over 12-year-experience in providing super high-quality chemicals and Nanomaterials, including boride powder, nitride powder, graphite powder, sulfide powder, 3D printing powder, etc.
If you are looking for high-quality CdTe powder with different uses, please feel free to contact us and send an inquiry. 


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