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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 21, Iss. S3 — May. 6, 2013
  • pp: A558–A575

Efficient light management in vertical nanowire arrays for photovoltaics

Nicklas Anttu and H. Q. Xu  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue S3, pp. A558-A575 (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.00A558


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Abstract

Vertical arrays of direct band gap III-V semiconductor nanowires (NWs) hold the prospect of cheap and efficient next-generation photovoltaics, and guidelines for successful light-management are needed. Here, we use InP NWs as a model system and find, through electrodynamic modeling, general design principles for efficient absorption of sun light in nanowire arrays by systematically varying the nanowire diameter, the nanowire length, and the array period. Most importantly, we discover the existence of specific band-gap dependent diameters, 170 nm and 410 nm for InP, for which the absorption of sun light in the array is optimal, irrespective of the nanowire length. At these diameters, the individual InP NWs of the array absorb light strongly for photon energies just above the band gap energy due to a diameter-tunable nanophotonic resonance, which shows up also for other semiconductor materials of the NWs. Furthermore, we find that for maximized absorption of sun light, the optimal period of the array increases with nanowire length, since this decreases the insertion reflection losses.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(160.6000) Materials : Semiconductor materials
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures

ToC Category:
Photovoltaics

History
Original Manuscript: January 28, 2013
Revised Manuscript: April 3, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: April 22, 2013
Published: May 1, 2013

Citation
Nicklas Anttu and H. Q. Xu, "Efficient light management in vertical nanowire arrays for photovoltaics," Opt. Express 21, A558-A575 (2013)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-S3-A558


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