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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Bernard Kippelen
  • Vol. 20, Iss. S2 — Mar. 12, 2012
  • pp: A177–A189

Highly absorbing solar cells—a survey of plasmonic nanostructures

Ricky B. Dunbar, Thomas Pfadler, and Lukas Schmidt-Mende  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue S2, pp. A177-A189 (2012)

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Plasmonic light trapping in thin film solar cells is investigated using full-wave electromagnetic simulations. Light absorption in the semiconductor layer with three standard plasmonic solar cell geometries is compared to absorption in a flat layer. We identify near-field absorption enhancement due to the excitation of localized surface plasmons but find that it is not necessary for strong light trapping in these configurations: significant enhancements are also found if the real metal is replaced by a perfect conductor, where scattering is the only available enhancement mechanism. The absorption in a 60 nm thick organic semiconductor film is found to be enhanced by up to 19% using dispersed silver nanoparticles, and up to 13% using a nanostructured electrode. External in-scattering nanoparticles strongly limit semiconductor absorption via back-reflection.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(040.5350) Detectors : Photovoltaic
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: November 11, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 23, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 29, 2011
Published: January 11, 2012

Ricky B. Dunbar, Thomas Pfadler, and Lukas Schmidt-Mende, "Highly absorbing solar cells—a survey of plasmonic nanostructures," Opt. Express 20, A177-A189 (2012)

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