Radiation-Hard and Ultralightweight Polycrystalline Cadmium Telluride Thin-Film Solar Cells for Space Applications

Gwangseok Yang, Eun Woo Cho, Yun Jeong Hwang, Byoung Koun Min, Yoonmook Kang, Donghwan Kim, Jihyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Achieving high-specific-power and radiation hardness of solar cells is of great importance to perform tasks and achieve duration in space. Therefore, we investigated the proton irradiation resistance of ultralightweight CdS/CdTe thin film solar cells having high specific power values. High-energy proton beams (15 MeV) with doses ranging from 1×1012 to 1×1015 cm−2 were used, equivalent to more than 2000 years in low Earth orbit. Although 70 % decrease in cell conversion efficiency was observed after proton irradiation with dose of 1×1015 cm−2, it still maintained the photovoltaic performance. The specific power of the fabricated cell decreased from 358 W kg−1 to 109 W kg−1 after proton irradiation (dose=1×1015 cm−2), which is still comparable to specific powers of other types of solar cells. Our work indicated that reduction of short circuit current is a major factor of deterioration of the cell performance under the high energy proton irradiation. This work revealed that our lightweight CdS/CdTe solar cells have significant potential for the use in space applications: reduction of launch cost by achieving high specific power and assurance of durability over prolonged space missions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1463-1468
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • cadmium
  • proton irradiation
  • solar cells
  • stability
  • thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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