Conference Paper

Surface Plasmon Enhancement of Optical Absorption of Thin Film a-Si:H Solar Cells with Metallic Nanoparticles

DOI: 10.1109/PVSC.2009.5411623 Conference: 34th IEEE PVSC Proceedings


We design and fabricate a-Si:H solar cells with plasmonic crystal back reflectors demonstrating enhanced absorption of near infrared photons. Rigorous simulations predict plasmonic nanoparticles on ITO can increase absorption in the near infrared. Rigorous simulations also predict plasmonic crystal back reflectors with a pitch of ~750 nm to optimize the enhanced absorption. Such periodic back reflectors have been fabricated with photo-lithography and a-Si:H solar cells have been grown on them by PECVD. The solar cells display ~9% improvement in short circuit current and external quantum efficiency and a absorption enhancement factor exceeding 8 above 650 nm.

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Available from: Benjamin M. Curtin, Oct 03, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Thin film silicon solar cells are an attractive option for the production of sustainable energy but their low response at long wavelengths requires additional measures for absorption enhancement. The most successful concepts are based on light scattering interface textures whose understanding is greatly facilitated by considering a superposition of periodic textures that diffract the light into oblique angles, ideally beyond the critical angle of total internal reflection. Because the thickness of the active layers is on the same scale as the wavelength, interference of diffracted waves gives rise to resonance phenomena. We discuss the absorption enhancement in terms of a perturbation approach using the modal structure of a corresponding device with flat interfaces.
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