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Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 20, Iss. S6 — Nov. 5, 2012
  • pp: A864–A878

Computational analysis of thin film InGaAs/GaAs quantum well solar cells with back side light trapping structures

Claiborne O. McPheeters and Edward T. Yu  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue S6, pp. A864-A878 (2012)

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Simulations of thin film (~2.5 µm thick) InGaAs/GaAs quantum well solar cells with various back side reflective and planar, symmetric scattering structures used for light trapping have been performed using rigorous coupled-wave analysis. Two-dimensional periodic metal/dielectric scattering structures were numerically optimized for Airmass 0 photocurrent generation for each device structure. The simulation results indicate that the absorption spectra of devices with both reflective and scattering structures are largely determined by the Fabry-Perot resonance characteristics of the thin film device structure. The scattering structures substantially increase absorption in the quantum wells at wavelengths longer than the GaAs absorption edge through a combination of coupling to modes of the thin film device structures and by reducing parasitic metal absorption compared to planar metal reflectors. For Airmass 0 illumination and 100% carrier collection, the estimated short-circuit current density of devices with In0.3Ga0.7As/GaAs quantum wells improves by up to 4.6 mA/cm2 (15%) relative to a GaAs homojunction device, with the improvement resulting approximately equally from scattering of light into thin film modes and reduction of metal absorption compared to a planar reflective layer.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(040.5350) Detectors : Photovoltaic
(230.5590) Optical devices : Quantum-well, -wire and -dot devices
(250.0250) Optoelectronics : Optoelectronics
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(050.6624) Diffraction and gratings : Subwavelength structures

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: April 25, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: August 15, 2012
Published: October 8, 2012

Claiborne O. McPheeters and Edward T. Yu, "Computational analysis of thin film InGaAs/GaAs quantum well solar cells with back side light trapping structures," Opt. Express 20, A864-A878 (2012)

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