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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 22, Iss. S1 — Jan. 13, 2014
  • pp: A99–A110

Optimization of generalized dielectric nanostructures for enhanced light trapping in thin-film photovoltaics via boosting the local density of optical states

Peng Wang and Rajesh Menon  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue S1, pp. A99-A110 (2014)

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Recent work has shown that using a high-index cladding atop a lower-index photovoltaic absorber enables absorption of light beyond the ergodic (4n2) limit. In this paper, we propose a generalized optimization method for deriving optimal geometries that allow for such enhancement. Specifically, we adapted the direct-binary-search algorithm to optimize a complex 2-D multi-layer structure with the explicit goal of increasing photocurrent. We show that such an optimization results in enhancing the local density of optical states in an ultra-thin absorber, which forms a slot-waveguide geometry in the presence of a higher-index overcladding. Numerical simulations confirmed optical absorption approaching 100% and absorption-enhancement beyond the ergodic (4n2) limit for specific spectral bands of interest. Our method provides a direct, intuitive and computationally scalable approach for designing light-trapping nanostructures.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(350.4238) Other areas of optics : Nanophotonics and photonic crystals
(310.6188) Thin films : Spectral properties
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures

ToC Category:
Light Trapping for Photovoltaics

Original Manuscript: July 8, 2013
Revised Manuscript: November 12, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: December 6, 2013
Published: December 12, 2013

Peng Wang and Rajesh Menon, "Optimization of generalized dielectric nanostructures for enhanced light trapping in thin-film photovoltaics via boosting the local density of optical states," Opt. Express 22, A99-A110 (2014)

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