OSA's Digital Library

Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 21, Iss. S3 — May. 6, 2013
  • pp: A363–A371

Light harvesting enhancement in solar cells with quasicrystalline plasmonic structures

Christina Bauer and Harald Giessen  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue S3, pp. A363-A371 (2013)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1246 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Solar cells are important in the area of renewable energies. Since it is expensive to produce solar-grade silicon [Electrochem. Soc. Interface 17, 30 (2008)], especially thin-film solar cells are interesting. However, the efficiency of such solar cells is low. Therefore, it is important to increase the efficiency. The group of Polman has shown that a periodic arrangement of metal particles is able to enhance the absorbance of light [Nano Lett. 11, 1760 (2011)]. However, a quasicrystalline arrangement of the metal particles is expected to enhance the light absorbance independent of the incident polar and azimuthal angles due to the more isotropic photonic bandstructure. In this paper, we compare the absorption enhancement of a quasiperiodic photonic crystal to that of a periodic photonic crystal. We indeed find that the absorption enhancement for the quasicrystalline arrangement shows such an isotropic behavior. This implies that the absorption efficiency of the solar cell is relatively constant during the course of the day as well as the year. This is particularly important with respect to power distribution, power storage requirements, and the stability of the electric grid upon massive use of renewable energy.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(050.5298) Diffraction and gratings : Photonic crystals
(250.5403) Optoelectronics : Plasmonics

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: January 31, 2013
Revised Manuscript: March 23, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: March 26, 2013
Published: April 2, 2013

Christina Bauer and Harald Giessen, "Light harvesting enhancement in solar cells with quasicrystalline plasmonic structures," Opt. Express 21, A363-A371 (2013)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. Verbruggen, V. Lauber, “Basic concepts for designing renewable electricity support aiming at a fullscale transition by 2050,” Energy Policy 37(12), 5732–5743 (2009). [CrossRef]
  2. D. Fertl, “Germany: Nuclear power to be phased out by 2022,” http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47834 (2011). Accessed: 23/08/2012.
  3. F. Trieb, “Trans-mediterranean interconnection for concentrating solar power,” Study report, German Aerospace Center (2006).
  4. M. Tao, “Inorganic photovoltaic solar cells: Silicon and beyond,” Electrochem. Soc. Interface 17, 30–35 (2008).
  5. D. Redfield, “Multiple-pass thin-film silicon solar cell,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 25(11), 647–648 (1974). [CrossRef]
  6. J. Zhao, M. A. Green, “Optimized antireflection coatings for high-efficiency silicon solar cells,” IEEE Trans. Electron. Dev. 38(8), 1925–1934 (1991). [CrossRef]
  7. B. O’Regan, M. Grätzel, “A low cost, high-efficiency solar cell based on dye-sensitized colloidal TiO2 films,” Nature 353(6346), 737–740 (1991). [CrossRef]
  8. M. Grätzel, “Dye-sensitized solar cells,” J. Photochem. Photobiol. C 4(2), 145–153 (2003). [CrossRef]
  9. J. C. Goldschmidt, M. Peters, A. Bösch, H. Helmers, F. Dimroth, S. W. Glunz, G. Willeke, “Increasing the efficiency of fluorescent concentrator systems,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 93(2), 176–182 (2009). [CrossRef]
  10. S. E. Han, G. Chen, “Optical absorption enhancement in silicon nanohole arrays for solar photovoltaics,” Nano Lett. 10(3), 1012–1015 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. C. Haase, H. Stiebig, “Optical properties of thin-film silicon solar cells with grating couplers,” Prog. Photovolt. Res. Appl. 14(7), 629–641 (2006). [CrossRef]
  12. H. R. Stuart, D. G. Hall, “Absorption enhancement in silicon-on-insulator waveguides using metal island films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 69(16), 2327–2329 (1996). [CrossRef]
  13. V. E. Ferry, M. A. Verschuuren, H. B. T. Li, R. E. I. Schropp, H. A. Atwater, A. Polman, “Improved red-response in thin film a-Si:H solar cells with soft-imprinted plasmonic back reflectors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95(18), 183503 (2009). [CrossRef]
  14. H. A. Atwater, A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. C. Rockstuhl, S. Fahr, F. Lederer, “Absorption enhancement in solar cells by localized plasmon polaritons,” J. Appl. Phys. 104(12), 123102 (2008). [CrossRef]
  16. X.-H. Li, R. Song, Y.-K. Ee, P. Kumnorkaew, J. F. Gilchrist, N. Tansu, “Light extraction efficiency and radiation patterns of III-nitride light-emitting diodes with colloidal microlens arrays with various aspect ratios,” IEEE Photon. J. 3(3), 489–499 (2011). [CrossRef]
  17. Y.-K. Ee, P. Kumnorkaew, R. A. Arif, H. Tong, J. F. Gilchrist, N. Tansu, “Light extraction efficiency enhancement of InGaN quantum wells light-emitting diodes with polydimethylsiloxane concave microstructures,” Opt. Express 17(16), 13747–13757 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. W. H. Koo, W. Youn, P. Zhu, X.-H. Li, N. Tansu, F. So, “Light extraction of organic light emitting diodes by defective hexagonal-close-packed array,” Adv. Funct. Mater. 22(16), 3454–3459 (2012). [CrossRef]
  19. E. Matioli, E. Rangel, M. Iza, B. Fleury, N. Pfaff, J. Speck, E. Hu, C. Weisbuch, “High extraction efficiency light-emitting diodes based on embedded air-gap photonic-crystals,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(3), 031108 (2010). [CrossRef]
  20. S. Fahr, C. Rockstuhl, F. Lederer, “Engineering the randomness for enhanced absorption in solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(17), 171114 (2008). [CrossRef]
  21. R. A. Pala, J. White, E. Barnard, J. Liu, M. L. Brongersma, “Design of plasmonic thin-film solar cells with broadband absorption enhancements,” Adv. Mater. 21(34), 3504–3509 (2009). [CrossRef]
  22. J. N. Munday, H. A. Atwater, “Large integrated absorption enhancement in plasmonic solar cells by combining metallic gratings and antireflection coatings,” Nano Lett. 11(6), 2195–2201 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. P. Spinelli, M. Hebbink, R. de Waele, L. Black, F. Lenzmann, A. Polman, “Optical impedance matching using coupled plasmonic nanoparticle arrays,” Nano Lett. 11(4), 1760–1765 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. P. Spinelli, V. E. Ferry, J. van de Groep, M. van Lare, M. A. Verschuuren, R. E. I. Schropp, H. A. Atwater, A. Polman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film Si solar cells,” J. Opt. 14(2), 024002 (2012). [CrossRef]
  25. C. Rockstuhl, F. Lederer, T. Zentgraf, H. Giessen, “Enhanced transmission of periodic, quasiperiodic, and random nanoaperture arrays,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 91(15), 151109 (2007). [CrossRef]
  26. V. E. Ferry, M. A. Verschuuren, M. C. Lare, R. E. I. Schropp, H. A. Atwater, A. Polman, “Optimized spatial correlations for broadband light trapping nanopatterns in high efficiency ultrathin film a-Si:H solar cells,” Nano Lett. 11(10), 4239–4245 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. Y. Nishijima, L. Rosa, S. Juodkazis, “Surface plasmon resonances in periodic and random patterns of gold nano-disks for broadband light harvesting,” Opt. Express 20(10), 11466–11477 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. P.-C. Tseng, M.-H. Hsu, M.-A. Tsai, C.-W. Chu, H.-C. Kuo, P. Yu, “Enhanced omnidirectional photon coupling via quasi-periodic patterning of indium-tin-oxide for organic thin-film solar cells,” Org. Electron. 12(6), 886–890 (2011). [CrossRef]
  29. S. Linden, J. Kuhl, H. Giessen, “Controlling the interaction between light and gold nanoparticles: Selective suppression of extinction,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 86(20), 4688–4691 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  30. E. D. Palik, Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic, 1985).
  31. A. Christ, “Optical properties of metallic photonic crystal structures,” Ph.D. thesis, Philipps-Universität Marburg (2005).
  32. C. Bauer, G. Kobiela, H. Giessen, “2D quasiperiodic plasmonic crystals,” Sci. Rep. 2, 681 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  33. S. Fan, J. D. Joannopoulos, “Analysis of guided resonances in photonic crystal slabs,” Phys. Rev. B 65(23), 235112 (2002). [CrossRef]
  34. M. J. Weber, Handbook of Optical Materials (CRC, 2003).
  35. D. Zhou, R. Biswas, “Photonic crystal enhanced light-trapping in thin film solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 103(9), 093102 (2008). [CrossRef]
  36. C. Gueymard, “SMARTS2, Simple Model for the Atmospheric Radiative Transfer of Sunshine: Algorithms and performance assessment,” Technical Report FSEC-PF-270–95, Florida Solar Energy Center, Cocoa, FL (1995).
  37. J. G. Mutitu, S. Shi, C. Chen, T. Creazzo, A. Barnett, C. Honsberg, D. W. Prather, “Thin film silicon solar cell design based on photonic crystal and diffractive grating structures,” Opt. Express 16(19), 15238–15248 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  38. The latitude and longitude of Germany,” http://www.travelmath.com/country/Germany . Accessed: 13/12/2012.
  39. H. Schwarz and S. Ying, “Urban photovoltaic potential,” in 2010 9th International Conference on Environment and Electrical Engineering (EEEIC) (2010), pp. 26–28. [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4 Fig. 5

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited