Broadband optical absorption enhancement through coherent light trapping in thin-film photovoltaic cells
We show that optical absorption in thin-film photovoltaic cells can be enhanced by inserting a tuned two-component aperiodic dielectric stack into the device structure. These coatings are a generalization and unification of the concepts of an anti-reflection coating used in solar cells and high-reflectivity distributed Bragg mirror used in resonant cavity-enhanced narrowband photodetectors. Optimized two-component coatings approach the physically realizable limit and optimally redistribute the spectral photon density-of-states to enhance the absorption of the active layer across its absorption spectrum. Specific designs for thin-film organic solar cells increase the photocurrent under AM1.5 illumination, averaged over all incident angles and polarizations, by up to 40%.