SURF

Rami Ariss

Improving Sintered Cadmium Telluride Nanocrystals Films for Photovoltaics by Controlled Halide Surface Chemistry

Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) is an alternative semiconductor to silicon for photovoltaic applications. Its advantageous physical properties allow it to absorb an equal amount of light with a fraction of silicons thickness; this means lower material costs. However, lack of fundamental research renders this material less efficient than silicon. Recent attempts at reducing manufacturing costs of CdTe solar cells investigate solution deposited nanocrystal (NC) films, i.e.semiconductor ink. During solar cell fabrication, CdTe films must be exposed to CdCl2 and heated to improve device performance. My research will investigate the effect of CdCl2 on heated CdTe NCs films. I will first synthesize solution-stable CdTe NCs (i.e. ink), then modify the NC surface with CdCl2. Next, I will fabricate CdTe layers by heating solution-deposited CdTe NCs and evaluate the films electrical and optical properties. Ultimately, I strive to discover which deposition and CdCl2 parameters lead to the best film performances for solar cells.

Message to Sponsor

It is an honor to be chosen as a 2013 SURF/Rose Hills Experience Fellow. My gratitude goes out to those who have made it possible for me to devote an entire summer to focused research on CdTe nanocrystal-based solar cells. I courteously thank my mentors, Danny Hellebusch and Paul Alivisatos, for granting me the opportunity to work in their lab and experience genuine chemistry and material science research. This opportunity will help shape my future aspirations of attending graduate school and researching alternative/renewable energies.
  • Major: Chemical Engineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Paul Alivisatos, Chemistry