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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 22, Iss. S2 — Mar. 10, 2014
  • pp: A282–A294

Imperfectly geometric shapes of nanograting structures as solar absorbers with superior performance for solar cells

Nghia Nguyen-Huu, Michael Cada, and Jaromír Pištora  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue S2, pp. A282-A294 (2014)

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The expectation of perfectly geometric shapes of subwavelength grating (SWG) structures such as smoothness of sidewalls and sharp corners and nonexistence of grating defects is not realistic due to micro/nanofabrication processes. This work numerically investigates optical properties of an optimal solar absorber comprising a single-layered silicon (Si) SWG deposited on a finite Si substrate, with a careful consideration given to effects of various types of its imperfect geometry. The absorptance spectra of the solar absorber with different geometric shapes, namely, the grating with attached nanometer-sized features at the top and bottom of sidewalls and periodic defects within four and ten grating periods are investigated comprehensively. It is found that the grating with attached features at the bottom absorbs more energy than both the one at the top and the perfect grating. In addition, it is shown that the grating with defects in each fourth period exhibits the highest average absorptance (91%) compared with that of the grating having defects in each tenth period (89%), the grating with attached features (89%), and the perfect one (86%). Moreover, the results indicate that the absorptance spectrum of the imperfect structures is insensitive to angles of incidence. Furthermore, the absorptance enhancement is clearly demonstrated by computing magnetic field, energy density, and Poynting vector distributions. The results presented in this study prove that imperfect geometries of the nanograting structure display a higher absorptance than the perfect one, and provide such a practical guideline for nanofabrication capabilities necessary to be considered by structure designers.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(040.6040) Detectors : Silicon
(050.2770) Diffraction and gratings : Gratings
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures

ToC Category:
Light Trapping for Photovoltaics

Original Manuscript: October 29, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: January 13, 2014
Published: January 31, 2014

Nghia Nguyen-Huu, Michael Cada, and Jaromír Pištora, "Imperfectly geometric shapes of nanograting structures as solar absorbers with superior performance for solar cells," Opt. Express 22, A282-A294 (2014)

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