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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 1 — Jan. 14, 2013
  • pp: 1209–1217

Detailed balance analysis of nanophotonic solar cells

Sunil Sandhu, Zongfu Yu, and Shanhui Fan  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp. 1209-1217 (2013)

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We present a detailed balance based approach for performing current density-voltage characteristic modeling of nanophotonic solar cells. This approach takes into account the intrinsic material non-idealities, and is useful for determining the theoretical limit of solar cell efficiency for a given structure. Our approach only requires the cell’s absorption spectra over all angles, which can be readily calculated using available simulation tools. Using this approach, we elucidate the physics of open-circuit voltage enhancement over bulk cells in nanoscale thin film structures, by showing that the enhancement is related to the absorption suppression in the immediate spectral region above the bandgap. We also show that with proper design, the use of a grating on a nanoscale thin film can increase its short-circuit current, while preserving its voltage-enhancing capabilities.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(050.0050) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction and gratings
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(350.4238) Other areas of optics : Nanophotonics and photonic crystals
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures

ToC Category:
Solar Energy

Original Manuscript: December 4, 2012
Revised Manuscript: December 23, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: January 1, 2013
Published: January 10, 2013

Sunil Sandhu, Zongfu Yu, and Shanhui Fan, "Detailed balance analysis of nanophotonic solar cells," Opt. Express 21, 1209-1217 (2013)

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