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Energy Express

Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 22, Iss. S5 — Aug. 25, 2014
  • pp: A1372–A1379

Surface plasmon polariton enhanced ultrathin nano-structured CdTe solar cell

Ting S. Luk, Nche T. Fofang, Jose L. Cruz-Campa, Ian Frank, and Salvatore Campione  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue S5, pp. A1372-A1379 (2014)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.22.0A1372


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Abstract

We demonstrate numerically that two-dimensional arrays of ultrathin CdTe nano-cylinders on Ag can serve as an effective broadband anti-reflection structure for solar cell applications. Such devices exhibit strong absorption properties, mainly in the CdTe semiconductor regions, and can produce short-circuit current densities of 23.4 mA/cm2, a remarkable number in the context of solar cells given the ultrathin dimensions of our nano-cylinders. The strong absorption is enabled via excitation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) under plane wave incidence. In particular, we identified the key absorption mechanism as enhanced fields of the SPP standing waves residing at the interface of CdTe nano-cylinders and Ag. We compare the performance of Ag, Au, and Al substrates, and observe significant improvement when using Ag, highlighting the importance of using low-loss metals. Although we use CdTe here, the proposed approach is applicable to other solar cell materials with similar absorption properties.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(310.1210) Thin films : Antireflection coatings
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures

ToC Category:
Light Trapping for Photovoltaics

History
Original Manuscript: June 26, 2014
Revised Manuscript: August 6, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: August 9, 2014
Published: August 21, 2014

Citation
Ting S. Luk, Nche T. Fofang, Jose L. Cruz-Campa, Ian Frank, and Salvatore Campione, "Surface plasmon polariton enhanced ultrathin nano-structured CdTe solar cell," Opt. Express 22, A1372-A1379 (2014)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-22-S5-A1372


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