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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 8 — Apr. 14, 2008
  • pp: 5385–5396

Broadband optical absorption enhancement through coherent light trapping in thin-film photovoltaic cells

Mukul Agrawal and Peter Peumans  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 8, pp. 5385-5396 (2008)

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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%.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.1670) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherent optical effects
(160.4890) Materials : Organic materials
(230.5170) Optical devices : Photodiodes
(310.4165) Thin films : Multilayer design
(310.6845) Thin films : Thin film devices and applications

ToC Category:
Thin Films

Original Manuscript: January 7, 2008
Revised Manuscript: February 9, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: February 11, 2008
Published: April 3, 2008

Mukul Agrawal and Peter Peumans, "Broadband optical absorption enhancement through coherent light trapping in thin-film photovoltaic cells," Opt. Express 16, 5385-5396 (2008)

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