A process for preparing thin Cd.sub.2 SnO.sub.4 films. The process comprises the steps of RF sputter coating a Cd.sub.2 SnO.sub.4 layer onto a first substrate; coating a second substrate with a CdS layer; contacting the Cd.sub.2 SnO.sub.4 layer with the CdS layer in a water- and oxygen-free environment and heating the first and second substrates and the Cd.sub.2 SnO.sub.4 and CdS layers to a temperature sufficient to induce crystallization of the Cd.sub.2 SnO.sub.4 layer into a uniform single-phase spinel-type structure, for a time sufficient to allow full crystallization of the Cd.sub.2 SnO.sub.4 layer at that temperature; cooling the first and second substrates to room temperature; and separating the first and second substrates and layers from each other. The process can be conducted at temperatures less than 600.degree. C., allowing the use of inexpensive soda lime glass substrates.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-83CH10093 between the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of Midwest Research Institute.