A finite element-based modal formulation of diffraction of a plane wave by an absorbing photonic crystal slab of arbitrary geometry is developed for photovoltaic applications. The semianalytic approach allows efficient and accurate calculation of the absorption of an array with a complex unit cell. This approach gives direct physical insight into the absorption mechanism in such structures, which can be used to enhance the absorption. The verification and validation of this approach is applied to a silicon nanowire array, and the efficiency and accuracy of the method is demonstrated. The method is ideally suited to studying the manner in which spectral properties (e.g., absorption) vary with the thickness of the array, and we demonstrate this with efficient calculations that can identify an optimal geometry.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Diffraction and Gratings
Original Manuscript: October 20, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 13, 2011
Published: April 30, 2012
Kokou B. Dossou, Lindsay C. Botten, Ara A. Asatryan, Björn C. P. Sturmberg, Michael A. Byrne, Christopher G. Poulton, Ross C. McPhedran, and C. Martijn de Sterke, "Modal formulation for diffraction by absorbing photonic crystal slabs," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, 817-831 (2012)