Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical Engineering


David Zubia

Second Advisor

Xiaowang Zhou


Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is a material used to make solar cells because it absorbs the sunlight very efficiently and converts it into electricity. However, CdTe modules suffer from degradation of 1% over a period of 1 year. Improvements on the efficiency and stability can be achieved by designing better materials at the atomic scale. Experimental techniques to study materials at the atomic scale, such as Atomic Probe Tomography (APT) and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) are expensive and time consuming. On the other hand, Molecular Dynamics (MD) offers an inexpensive and fast computer simulation technique to study the growth evolution of materials with atomic scale resolution. In combination with advance characterization software, MD simulations provide atomistic visualization, defect analysis, structure maps, 3-D atomistic view, and composition profiles. MD simulations help to design better quality materials by predicting material behavior at the atomic scale.

In this work, a new MD method to study several phenomena such as polycrystalline growth of CdTe-based materials, interdiffusion of atoms at interfaces, and deposition of a copper doped ZnTe back contact is established. Results are compared with experimental data found in the literature and experiments performed and shown to be in remarkably good agreement.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

70 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Rodolfo Aguirre II