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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Bernard Kippelen
  • Vol. 18, Iss. S2 — Jun. 21, 2010
  • pp: A139–A146

Enhanced absorption in optically thin solar cells by scattering from embedded dielectric nanoparticles

James R. Nagel and Michael A. Scarpulla  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue S2, pp. A139-A146 (2010)

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We present a concept for improving the efficiency of thin-film solar cells via scattering from dielectric particles. The particles are embedded directly within the semiconductor absorber material with sizes on the order of one wavelength. Importantly, this geometry is fully compatible with the use of an anti-reflective coating (ARC) to maximize light capture. The concept is demonstrated through finite-difference time domain (FDTD) simulations of spherical SiO2 particles embedded within a 1.0 µm layer of crystalline silicon (c-Si) utilizing a 75 nm ARC of Si3N4. Several geometries are presented, with gains in absorbed photon flux occurring in the red end of the spectrum where silicon absorption is weak. The total integrated absorption of incident photon flux across the visible AM-1.5 spectrum is on the order of 5-10% greater than the same geometry without any dielectric scatterers.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(310.1210) Thin films : Antireflection coatings
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures
(310.6805) Thin films : Theory and design

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: April 28, 2010
Revised Manuscript: May 17, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: May 17, 2010
Published: May 19, 2010

James R. Nagel and Michael A. Scarpulla, "Enhanced absorption in optically thin solar cells by scattering from embedded dielectric nanoparticles," Opt. Express 18, A139-A146 (2010)

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