Broadband Short-Range Surface Plasmon Structures for Absorption Enhancement in Organic Photovoltaics

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA.
Optics Express (Impact Factor: 3.53). 11/2010; 18 Suppl 4(23):A620-30. DOI: 10.1364/OE.18.00A620
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We theoretically demonstrate a polarization-independent nanopatterned ultra-thin metallic structure supporting short-range surface plasmon polariton (SRSPP) modes to improve the performance of organic solar cells. The physical mechanism and the mode distribution of the SRSPP excited in the cell device were analyzed, and reveal that the SRSPP-assisted broadband absorption enhancement peak could be tuned by tailoring the parameters of the nanopatterned metallic structure. Three-dimensional finite-difference time domain calculations show that this plasmonic structure can enhance the optical absorption of polymer-based photovoltaics by 39% to 112%, depending on the nature of the active layer (corresponding to an enhancement in short-circuit current density by 47% to 130%). These results are promising for the design of organic photovoltaics with enhanced performance.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The optical and electrical properties of optically-thin one-dimensional (1D) Ag nanogratings and two-dimensional (2D) Ag nanogrids are studied, and their use as transparent electrodes in organic photovoltaics are explored. A large broadband and polarization-insensitive optical absorption enhancement in the organic light-harvesting layers is theoretically and numerically demonstrated using either single-layer 2D Ag nanogrids or two perpendicular 1D Ag nanogratings, and is attributed to the excitation of surface plasmon resonances and plasmonic cavity modes. Total photon absorption enhancements of 150% and 200% are achieved for the optimized single-layer 2D Ag nanogrids and double (top and bottom) perpendicular 1D Ag nanogratings, respectively.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Efficient light management in solar cells can be achieved by incorporating plasmonic nanoscatterers that support surface plasmons: excitations of conduction electrons at the interface/surface. As known, light trapping increases the amount of light absorbed by bouncing the light within the cell, giving it a chance to be absorbed thereby increasing the absorption and scattering cross-section. The challenge is to fabricate these plasmonic nanoparticles in cost-effective method as well as without hampering optical, electrical and topographical properties of underneath layers. Here in this report a simple two step method was adopted to fabricate silver nanoparticles on zinc oxide followed by topographic and elemental analysis thereof. Numerical calculation was carried out to elucidate optical scattering of silver nanoparticles of various sizes as well as that of dimer. Near-electric field distribution of single silver nanoparticles and dimer along with the individual component of electric field was simulated by finite different time domain analysis. Using the benefit of increased scattering cross-section and ease of such nanoparticles fabrication, a cell configure is proposed herewith.
    Advanced Materials Research 06/2014; 938:280-285. DOI:10.4028/
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We study the optical properties of a 2D Photonic Crystal (PC) inserted in the upper ITO electrode of a classical P3HT:PCBM solar architecture with an ultra-thin active layer. First, we analyze the optical response of the system when only the active layer is supposed to absorb light. This allows us to observe clear photonic crystal resonances in the absorption spectrum, which increase the cell efficiency even if the period of the PC is higher than the wavelength. This is in apparent contradiction with the common belief that PC should work in subwavelength regime. Then, by turning to a real system (with optical losses in all the layers), an optimized PC design is proposed, where the maximum of efficiency is obtained for a PC period of 1200 nm, much larger than visible wavelength.
    Optics Express 08/2014; 22(S5):A1229-A1236. DOI:10.1364/OE.22.0A1229 · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Apr 4, 2015