This paper investigates the influence of resonant and nonresonant plasmonic nanostructures, such as arrays of silver and aluminum nanoparticles in the forward scattering configuration, on the optical absorption in a thin-film amorphous silicon solar cell. It is demonstrated that nonresonant coupling of the incident sunlight with aluminum nanoparticles results in higher optical absorption in the photoactive region than resonant coupling with silver nanoparticle arrays. In addition, aluminum nanoparticles are shown to maintain a net positive enhancement of the optical absorption in amorphous silicon, as compared to a negative effect by silver nanoparticles, when the nanoparticles are oxidized.
"Therefore, aluminium opens avenues for plasmonic engineering of the optical properties of wide bandgap semiconductors such as ZnO  or GaN related alloys , which could create a new market in the field of optoelectronics. On a broader level, aluminium plasmonics is very appealing for a lot of applications: surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy in ultraviolet  , metal enhanced fluorescence , label-Free biosensing applications , non-linear plasmonics , light harvesting devices , photodetection , photocatalysis  or high data density storage . Nevertheless, studies of LSPRs in the UV region have been sporadically reported, implying that aluminium for plasmonics is still in its infancy. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metallic nanostructures are the building blocks for nanoplasmonics and for subsequent applications in nanooptics. For several decades, plasmonics have been almost exclusively studied in the visible region by using nanostructures made of noble metals exhibiting plasmonic properties in the near infrared to visible range. This notwithstanding, emerging applications will require the extension of nanoplasmonics toward higher energies, particularly in the UV range. Therefore, alternative metals, often described as poor metals are emerging to achieve that goal. Among all these metals, aluminium appears to be one of the most appealing for extending plasmonics towards ultraviolet energies. Aluminium is cheap, widely available, compatible with optoelectronic devices and exhibits plasmonic properties over a wide range of energies, from the infrared to the deep UV. Our aim is to present a review of current research centred on the fabrication of aluminium nanostructures. Mastering the geometry of aluminium nanostructures is extremely important in order to tune their plasmonic properties and target a given application. First we give an introduction to the nanofabrication of aluminium nanostructures within the context of plasmonics. The review then focuses on the possible geometries that such structures may take when fabricated with specific fabrication techniques. Each technique is detailed and the plasmonic properties of the aluminium nanostructures are briefly described. When possible, an example of an application is given. Finally, the future applications of aluminium plasmonics are highlighted and a conclusion with perspectives is given.
Journal of Physics D Applied Physics 05/2015; 48(18). DOI:10.1088/0022-3727/48/18/184002 · 2.72 Impact Factor
"As a result, light-trapping techniques are critical for effective collection of low-energy photons. The use of metal nanostructures for exciting the surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) in thin film solar cells has been exploited to improve light absorption  . Metal nanogratings patterned with a periodicity of several hundreds of nanometers excite the SPPs along the interface between the metal and silicon, then confine the SPPs for guiding electromagnetic waves in a near field. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A silicon nanowire (SiNW) array was embedded into a polydimethylsiloxane matrix to fabricate a flexible thin film solar cell in which a rugged metallic back surface was formed at the bottom. Superior light scattering of the randomly arrayed SiNWs significantly improved the light absorptance in a short wavelength region (λ b 700 nm). The rugged morphology of metallic back surface excited the surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) along the interface between the metal and Si, which showed a plasmonic potential to enhance light absorption in a long wavelength region (λ N 700 nm). This feature was attributed to the three major routes for light trapping: back reflection, SPP resonance, and SPP scattering. This nanowire thin film showing the rugged back surface yielded the light absorption of ~92.6% using only ~5% of silicon required for conventional crystalline solar cells.
Thin Solid Films 09/2014; 570:75-80. DOI:10.1016/j.tsf.2014.09.018 · 1.76 Impact Factor
"However, most of these papers have focused on LSPs excited in metallic nanoparticles. In fact, metallic nanoparticles have been used as scatterers on top of the solar cell structure to guide light into the active layer or as nano-anttennas implanted inside the active layer    . Metallic nanoparticles as scatterers have been used in this paper but they are also responsible for coupling light into SPs on metallic rods that are inserted inside the semiconductor and are connected to the metallic substrate. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, a novel structure is proposed to enhance the absorption of light in thin-film solar cells by surface plasmons excited on metallic nano-rods. The excitation of surface plasmons on these nano-rods that are implemented in amorphous hydrogenated silicon is realized by a two-dimensional array of metallic nanoparticles. This array, which consists of nonresonant plasmonic nanoparticles, can be mounted on the anti-reflection coating of the solar cells.
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