Refractive index database

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Optical constants of CdTe (Cadmium telluride)
Treharne et al. 2011: n,k 0.3–1.5 µm

Wavelength: µm

Complex refractive index (n+ik)[ i ]

n   k   LogX   LogY   eV

Derived optical constants


A CdTe film was deposited on to a soda-lime glass substrate using RF magnetron sputtering. A variable-angle ellipsometer was used to take amplitude and phase change measurements. The refractive index and extinction coefficient was extracted from a multi-oscillator model fit to the ellipsometry data, as a function of wavelength, from 300 to 1500 nm


R. E. Treharne, A. Seymour-Pierce, K. Durose, K. Hutchings, S. Roncallo, D. Lane, Optical design and fabrication of fully sputtered CdTe/CdS solar cells, J. Phys: Conf. Ser. 286, 012038, (2011) (Numerical data kindly provided Dr. Robert Treharne)


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Cadmium telluride, CdTe

Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is an inorganic compound that typically crystallizes in a cubic zincblende structure. It is a direct bandgap semiconductor with a bandgap energy of approximately 1.5 eV, making it highly suitable for photovoltaic applications, especially thin-film solar cells. CdTe solar cells are commercially significant due to their lower manufacturing costs and competitive efficiency levels compared to silicon-based cells. Besides photovoltaics, CdTe is also employed in infrared detectors, radiation detectors, and electro-optic modulators. However, the presence of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal, calls for stringent handling and disposal protocols and has prompted research into recycling methods. Synthesis methods for CdTe include physical vapor deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and close-spaced sublimation, among others, each offering unique advantages in terms of film quality and manufacturing scalability. Despite the environmental concerns related to its toxicity, CdTe remains a highly relevant material in renewable energy technologies and continues to attract research efforts aimed at mitigating its environmental impact.

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