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Energy Express

  • Editor: Bernard Kippelen
  • Vol. 18, Iss. S4 — Nov. 8, 2010
  • pp: A620–A630
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Broadband short-range surface plasmon structures for absorption enhancement in organic photovoltaics

Wenli Bai, Qiaoqiang Gan, Guofeng Song, Lianghui Chen, Zakya Kafafi, and Filbert Bartoli  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue S4, pp. A620-A630 (2010)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.00A620


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Abstract

We theoretically demonstrate a polarization-independent nanopatterned ultra-thin metallic structure supporting short-range surface plasmon polariton (SRSPP) modes to improve the performance of organic solar cells. The physical mechanism and the mode distribution of the SRSPP excited in the cell device were analyzed, and reveal that the SRSPP-assisted broadband absorption enhancement peak could be tuned by tailoring the parameters of the nanopatterned metallic structure. Three-dimensional finite-difference time domain calculations show that this plasmonic structure can enhance the optical absorption of polymer-based photovoltaics by 39% to 112%, depending on the nature of the active layer (corresponding to an enhancement in short-circuit current density by 47% to 130%). These results are promising for the design of organic photovoltaics with enhanced performance.

© 2010 OSA

Photovoltaic devices that convert solar energy into electrical energy have the potential to provide a virtually unlimited source of energy that is renewable and environmentally benign. However, to be competitive with fossil-fuel technologies, the cost of current photovoltaic technologies needs to decrease substantially. At present, the solar cell market is mainly based on crystalline and polycrystalline silicon with a thickness of approximately several hundred microns, resulting in high cost for materials and processing. Therefore, there is great interest in thin-film solar cells [1

1. M. A. Green, “Third generation photovoltaics: Solar cells for 2020 and beyond,” Physica E 14(1-2), 65–70 (2002). [CrossRef]

], with film thicknesses of a few hundred nanometers, which can be deposited on different substrates like glass and plastics. To date, thin-film solar cells have been fabricated using various active materials, including amorphous silicon [2

2. M. A. Green, “Recent developments in photovoltaics,” Sol. Energy 76(1-3), 3–8 (2004). [CrossRef]

], GaAs [3

3. G. J. Bauhuis, P. Mulder, E. J. Haverkamp, J. C. C. M. Huijben, and J. J. Schermer, “26.1% thin-film GaAs solar cell using epitaxial lift-off,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 93(9), 1488–1491 (2009). [CrossRef]

], CuInxGa1-xSe2 and CdTe [4

4. M. A. Contreras, B. Egaas, K. Ramanathan, J. Hiltner, A. Swartzlander, F. Hasoon, and R. Noufi, “Progress toward 20% efficiency in Cu(In,Ca)Se-2 polycrystalline thin-film solar cells,” Prog. Photovoltaics 7(4), 311–316 (1999). [CrossRef]

,5

5. A. Romeo, A. Terheggen, D. Abou-Ras, D. L. Bätzner, F.-J. Haug, M. Kälin, D. Rudmann, and A. N. Tiwari, “Development of thin-film Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and CdTe solar cells,” Prog. Photovoltaics 12(23), 93–111 (2004). [CrossRef]

], as well as organic semiconductors [6

6. P. Peumans, S. Uchida, and S. R. Forrest, “Efficient bulk heterojunction photovoltaic cells using small-molecular-weight organic thin films,” Nature 425(6954), 158–162 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9

9. J. Y. Kim, K. Lee, N. E. Coates, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, M. Dante, and A. J. Heeger, “Efficient tandem polymer solar cells fabricated by all-solution processing,” Science 317(5835), 222–225 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Compared with their inorganic counterparts, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) based on conjugated polymer and fullerene composites can be fabricated over large areas by means of low-cost ink-jet printing and coating technologies. The simultaneous patterning of the active materials on lightweight flexible substrates raises the prospect of organic photovoltaics potentially as inexpensive as paint [10

10. N. S. Sariciftci, L. Smilowitz, A. J. Heeger, and F. Wudl, “Photoinduced electron transfer from a conducting polymer to buckminsterfullerene,” Science 258(5087), 1474–1476 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12

12. H. Hoppe and N. S. Sariciftci, “Organic solar cells: an overview,” J. Mater. Res. 19(7), 1924–1945 (2004). [CrossRef]

]. However, the low charge-carrier mobility and small exciton diffusion length of most molecular and polymeric materials [13

13. D. E. Markov, C. Tanase, P. W. M. Blom, and J. Wildeman, “Simultaneous enhancement of charge transport and exciton diffusion in poly(p-phenylene vinylene) derivatives,” Phys. Rev. B 72(4), 045217 (2005). [CrossRef]

,14

14. P. E. Shaw, A. Ruseckas, and I. D. W. Samuel, “Exciton Diffusion Measurements in Poly(3-hexylthiophene,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 20(18), 3516–3520 (2008). [CrossRef]

] limit the thickness of the active layers (30-150 nm) [15

15. S. Sista, M.-H. Park, Z. Hong, Y. Wu, J. Hou, W. L. Kwan, G. Li, and Y. Yang, “Highly efficient tandem polymer photovoltaic cells,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 22(3), 380–383 (2010). [CrossRef]

19

19. F. Monestier, J. Simon, P. Torchio, L. Escoubas, F. Flory, S. Bailly, R. Debettignies, S. Guillerez, and C. Defranoux, “Modeling the short-circuit current density of polymer solar cells based on P3HT:PCBM blend,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 91(5), 405–410 (2007). [CrossRef]

] in OPVs, and lead to poor solar light absorption. This in turn results in insufficient carrier generation and low power conversion efficiency.

To overcome this thickness limitation, light trapping strategies may be explored in the design of OPVs to achieve high optical absorption. The traditional light trapping strategy in bulk solar cells typically employs random surface textures at the micrometer level [20

20. M. A. Green, Solar Cells: Operating Principles, Technology and System Applications (Univ. New South Wales, 1998).

22

22. H. Sai, H. Fujiwara, and M. Kondo, “Back surface reflectors with periodic textures fabricated by self-ordering process for light trapping in thin-film microcrystalline silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 93(6-7), 1087–1090 (2009). [CrossRef]

], which are larger than the active layer of OPVs and no longer suitable for thin film photovoltaics. Consequently, researchers proposed novel plasmonic nanostructures to achieve effective light trapping for thin-film solar cells [23

23. H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are collective oscillations of free electrons at the boundary of a metal and a nonconducting dielectric or semiconductor material [24

24. H. Raether, Surface Plasmons on Smooth and Rough Surfaces and on Gratings (Springer: Berlin, 1988).

26

26. V. M. Shalaev, and S. Kawata, Nanophotonics with surface plasmons (Elsevier, 2007).

]. By properly engineering novel plasmonic nanostructures, light can be concentrated into the thin active layer, thereby increasing its absorption. For device optimization, a broad absorption enhancement is desirable to improve the performance of photovoltaic devices. In recent years, researchers employed various nanoplasmonic structures to improve the performance of solar cells, including nanoparticles [27

27. M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Luth, and D. Meissner, “Metal cluster enhanced organic solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61(1), 97–105 (2000). [CrossRef]

35

35. C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008). [CrossRef]

], and periodic nanostructures [36

36. V. E. Ferry, L. A. Sweatlock, D. Pacifici, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanostructure design for efficient light coupling into solar cells,” Nano Lett. 8(12), 4391–4397 (2008). [CrossRef]

40

40. W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett. 10(6), 2012–2018 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], which have been described in a recent review [23

23. H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. In the present work, we propose a novel architecture based on an ultra-thin nanopatterned metallic structure to improve the performance of very thin-film organic solar cells. Because of the excitation of short-range SPP modes inside the absorption layer, a broad absorption enhancement is achieved. The design principles and physical mechanisms were analyzed numerically and analytically. The improved device performance was evaluated systematically through calculations of the short circuit current density based on the enhanced absorption in the active layer. To date, the best reported power conversion efficiency for polymer-based OPVs is approximately 7% [9

9. J. Y. Kim, K. Lee, N. E. Coates, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, M. Dante, and A. J. Heeger, “Efficient tandem polymer solar cells fabricated by all-solution processing,” Science 317(5835), 222–225 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,15

15. S. Sista, M.-H. Park, Z. Hong, Y. Wu, J. Hou, W. L. Kwan, G. Li, and Y. Yang, “Highly efficient tandem polymer photovoltaic cells,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 22(3), 380–383 (2010). [CrossRef]

,16

16. S. H. Park, A. Roy, S. Beaupre, S. Cho, N. Coates, J. S. Moon, D. Moses, M. Leclerc, K. Lee, and A. J. Heeger, “Bulk heterojunction solar cells with internal quantum efficiency approaching 100%,” Nat. Photonics 3(5), 297–302 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. We believe that introducing a metal electrode patterned with a plasmonic nanostructure is a promising approach to surpass this experimentally achieved record on the power conversion efficiency.

Figure 1
Fig. 1 A schematic diagram of the proposed plasmonic organic solar cell.
shows a schematic diagram of the proposed organic solar cell. The structure consists of a glass substrate, on which is deposited a 20nm thick indium tin oxide (ITO) layer that serves as a transparent anode, a 10nm thick highly conductive hole transport layer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), and a 30nm thick active layer. The active layer used in our design is an organic bulk heterojunction system consisting of the electron-donor material regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the electron-acceptor fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PC70BM). This is followed by a 20nm nanopatterned silver structure with a periodic subwavelength hole array that is placed immediately above the active layer. Figure 1 shows the subwavelength holes with numerically tunable diameters (D) and periods (P), which are square-symmetrically etched on the Ag layer and assumed to be air-filled.

In order to investigate optical absorption enhancement in this solar cell system, we perform full-field electromagnetic simulation using the three dimensional (3D) finite-difference time domain (FDTD) method. First, to demonstrate the reliability of our modeling, we performed a 3D simulation of the optical absorbance of this OPV structure. Our calculation of the optical absorbance of a P3HT:PC70BM bulk heterojunction composite film agrees well with previously reported experimental results for an identical structure [9

9. J. Y. Kim, K. Lee, N. E. Coates, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, M. Dante, and A. J. Heeger, “Efficient tandem polymer solar cells fabricated by all-solution processing,” Science 317(5835), 222–225 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,41

41. G. Dennler, K. Forberich, T. Ameri, C. Waldauf, P. Denk, C. J. Brabec, K. Hingerl, and A. J. Heeger, “Design of efficient organic tandem cells: On the interplay between molecular absorption and layer sequence,” J. Appl. Phys. 102(12), 123109 (2007). [CrossRef]

], (see Fig. 6
Fig. 6 Comparison between the simulated and measured absorbance [see the red dots, reproduced from Fig. 2(b) in Ref. [9]. of a 150nm thick P3HT:PC70BM layer.
in Appendix A), validating the predictive capability of our simulation for reproducing experimental results.

To investigate the physics of the absorption enhancement at the peak wavelength of 725nm, the time-averaged magnetic field intensity (|Hy|2) distribution at the P3HT:PC70BM/Ag interface was calculated and is plotted in Fig. 2(b) and 2(c). Figure 2(b) shows the intensity distribution in the X-Y plane, which demonstrates that the SPP mode is mainly confined in the space between holes. In the X-Z plane shown in Fig. 2(c), the SPP mode is confined in the active layer adjacent to organic/Ag interface. To visualize the mode distribution more clearly, the spatial mode profile is plotted in the right panel in Fig. 2(c). However, based on the intensity distribution shown in Fig. 2(b) and 2(c), it is still not clear whether the SPP modes are short range SPPs, as previously predicted [44

44. J. Braun, B. Gompf, G. Kobiela, and M. Dressel, “How holes can obscure the view: suppressed transmission through an ultrathin metal film by a subwavelength hole array,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 103(20), 203901 (2009). [CrossRef]

].

It is well known that for an optically opaque metal film, there is only one type of SPP mode, the single-interface surface plasmon polariton [24

24. H. Raether, Surface Plasmons on Smooth and Rough Surfaces and on Gratings (Springer: Berlin, 1988).

]. For thinner metal films (usually less than 100 nm), the two single-interface SPPs interact with each other and lead to two coupled SPPs, the long-range and short-range surface plasmon polariton [45

45. J. J. Burke, G. I. Stegeman, and T. Tamir, “Surface-polariton-like waves guided by thin, lossy metal films,” Phys. Rev. B Condens. Matter 33(8), 5186–5201 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. The long-range mode has an asymmetric charge distribution between the top and bottom surfaces with the electric field predominantly normal to the surface inside the metal. Conversely, the short-range surface plasmon polariton (SRSPP) has a charge distribution which is symmetric between the top and bottom surfaces with the electric field essentially parallel to the surface [46

46. Z. Chen, I. R. Hooper, and J. R. Sambles, “Strongly coupled surface plasmons on thin shallow metallic gratings,” Phys. Rev. B 77(16), 161405 (2008). [CrossRef]

]. Consequently, we can determine the physical origin of the SPP modes by calculating their surface charge distributions. Figure 3(a)
Fig. 3 (a) and (b) are electric field distributions at the SRSPP resonance wavelength at 725nm. (a) Time-averaged (color-scale) and instantaneous (arrows) electric field strengths and surface charge distribution in x-z plane, and (b) Instantaneous EZ vector distribution at the top and bottom surfaces of the Ag nanostructure. (c) Map of the absorption enhancement versus wavelength and metallic nanostructure thickness. The solid arrow corresponds to the resonance wavelength of the single-interface SPP Bloch mode. The dashed line corresponds to the analytical solutions of the SRSPP Bloch modes.
and 3(b) show the electric field distributions for the device discussed in Fig. 2 (t = 20nm, D = 150nm and P = 300nm). The time-averaged electric field strength is shown in Fig. 3(a) with the instantaneous EXZ vector and surface charge distributions in the X-Z plane. One can see that the spatial variation of the surface charge distribution on the top surface is clearly in phase with that on the bottom surface (symmetric distribution). The EZ vector distributions at the top (P3HT:PC70BM/Ag) and bottom (Ag/Air) interfaces are displayed in Fig. 3(b). The observed antisymmetric EZ field pattern also corresponds to a symmetric surface charge distribution, thus demonstrating that the SPP modes excited in the device shown in Fig. 2 are SRSPP modes.

tanh(S2t)(εd1εd2S22+εm2S1S3)+[εmS2(εd1S3+εd2S1)]=0.
(3)

Here S1, S2, and S3 are defined as S12 = kSPP2d1k02, S22 = kSPP2mk02, S32 = kSPP2d2k02, k0 = ω/c, and t is the thickness of the metal film. In our design εd1, εd2, and εm are the dielectric constants of P3HT:PC70BM, air (εd2 = 1), and Ag, respectively. Under the Bragg coupling condition, the dispersion relation of the SRSPP Bloch mode can be obtained by combining Eqs. (1) and (3). The numerical map of the absorption enhancement versus wavelength and the metallic nanostructure thickness is plotted in Fig. 3(c). The analytical solutions for the SPP modes excited by the lowest order Bragg vectors {(i,j) = (1,0),(−1,0),(0,1),(0,-1)} are also plotted in this figure to verify the generation of the SPP Bloch modes. The black dashed line represents the SRSPP Bloch mode excited under the Bragg coupling condition as a function of metal film thickness (t). The excitation frequency of the single-interface SPP Bloch mode is calculated by combining Eqs. (1) and (2) (indicated by the red solid arrow). As shown in Fig. 3(c), these analytical predictions agree well with the numerical simulation of the absorption enhancement obtained by the FDTD modeling. When the thickness decreases from 100nm to 10nm, one can see that the SPP Bloch mode transits from single-interface SPP to SRSPP gradually, with an obvious red-shift of the resonant wavelength. More importantly, the bandwidth of the absorption enhancement becomes wider when the mode enters the SRSPP region. This is because the complex wave-vectors obtained from Eq. (3) have larger imaginary parts than that from Eq. (2). As shown in Fig. 3(c), the width of the enhancement spectrum at the thickness of 20nm is approximately twice that at 100nm. Consequently, these SRSPP Bloch modes on a thinner metallic structure can provide broader band absorption.

Similarly, Fig. 5(b) shows the JSC enhancement for a PCPDTBT:PCBM solar cell. The reference short circuit current density for the PCPDTBT:PCBM cell, JSC-ref, is calculated to be 3.62 (mA/cm2). As shown in Fig. 5(b), the JSC of the plasmonic-assisted device is dramatically improved to 8.36 (mA/cm2) with an impressive enhancement factor of ~130% in Jsc at the optimal period of 320nm (corresponding to an optical absorption enhancement of 112%). The large enhancement is achieved because the absorption coefficient of the PCPDTBT:PCBM polymer is relatively small over the entire solar spectrum [9

9. J. Y. Kim, K. Lee, N. E. Coates, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, M. Dante, and A. J. Heeger, “Efficient tandem polymer solar cells fabricated by all-solution processing,” Science 317(5835), 222–225 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,41

41. G. Dennler, K. Forberich, T. Ameri, C. Waldauf, P. Denk, C. J. Brabec, K. Hingerl, and A. J. Heeger, “Design of efficient organic tandem cells: On the interplay between molecular absorption and layer sequence,” J. Appl. Phys. 102(12), 123109 (2007). [CrossRef]

] (with a small absorption peak at 750nm), resulting in a small value of JSC-ref. If the SRSPP modes are excited around the intrinsic absorption peak at 750nm, the short circuit current density enhancement could therefore be improved significantly. The inset of Fig. 5(b) shows the absorbed photon spectra with a nanopatterned metallic structure (solid line, P = 320nm) and a flat Ag back surface (dotted line). One can see that the photon absorption increases significantly in the spectral region around 750nm, also the resonant wavelength of the SRSPP. The enhancement occurs over a very broad spectral range, resulting in the very large improvement in device performance. The results in Fig. 5 demonstrate that the maximum potential JSC of 8.9 (mA/cm2) and 8.36 (mA/cm2) can be achieved for the two nanostructured OPVs with 30nm active layers, under the assumption of ideal charge collection (unity internal quantum efficiency). One can show from similar calculations that considerable SRSPP enhanced performance occurs for thicker OPV active layers as well (see Fig. 8
Fig. 8 The relation between the JSC and the active layer thickness of the P3HT:PC70BM device. The red curve is the JSC of the device with nanostructured back reflector; the black curve is the JSC of the device with a 20nm flat back reflector. Inset: The relation between the JSC enhancement factor (the ratio of the JSC-nano and JSC-ref) and the active layer thickness.
in Appendix C), although the trade-off between the actual collection efficiency of photo-generated charge carriers and the optical absorption needs to be accurately taken into account. Consequently, it is important to investigate the optimal thickness of the active layer to achieve the maximum conversion efficiency of the OPV at the device level [18

18. G. Li, V. Shrotriya, Y. Yao, and Y. Yang, “Investigation of annealing effects and film thickness dependence of polymer solar cells based on poly(3-hexylthiophene),” J. Appl. Phys. 98(4), 043704 (2005). [CrossRef]

]. Such a study would require detailed information of the intrinsic properties of the active materials, and an understanding of the relation between the internal quantum efficiency and the active layer thickness, and should be the subject of a future investigation, together with an experimental characterization of SPP enhanced organic OPVs.

The SRSPP-assisted absorption enhancement results presented in this work for polymer based OPVs compare favorably (P3HT:PC70BM) or in case of (PCPDTBT:PCBM) surpass those reported previously for OPVs based on molecular systems [39

39. C. Min, J. Li, G. Veronis, J.-Y. Lee, S. Fan, and P. Peumans, “Enhancement of optical absorption in thin-film organic solar cells through the excitation of plasmonic modes in metallic gratings,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(13), 133302 (2010). [CrossRef]

] where a theoretical enhancement of 50% in optical absorption was reported for one dimensional metallic gratings placed on 15nm thick organic heterojunction. For comparison, our modeling results for a 15nm thick P3HT:PC70BM layer yields an 83% enhancement in optical absorption, which corresponds to an enhancement of 94% in Jsc (see Fig. 8 in Appendix C). Similarly, the absorption enhancement for a 15nm film of PCPDTBT:PCBM would be on the order of 200%. This indicates that a larger overlap between the enhanced absorption spectrum and the solar spectrum is achieved with the proposed ultra-thin nanopatterns.

Appendix A. Demonstration of the simulation reliability

Here we perform calculations, which employ experimental parameters identical to those reported in an experimental study of a P3HT:PC70BM bulk heterojunction composite film [9

9. J. Y. Kim, K. Lee, N. E. Coates, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, M. Dante, and A. J. Heeger, “Efficient tandem polymer solar cells fabricated by all-solution processing,” Science 317(5835), 222–225 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Calculated results are compared with the measured results to demonstrate the reliability of our simulations. The reported [9

9. J. Y. Kim, K. Lee, N. E. Coates, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, M. Dante, and A. J. Heeger, “Efficient tandem polymer solar cells fabricated by all-solution processing,” Science 317(5835), 222–225 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] measured absorbance of a ~150nm thick P3HT:PC70BM layer is shown by the red circles in Fig. 6. The solid curve in Fig. 6 shows the calculated optical absorbance of this 150nm thick P3HT:PC70BM layer, employing the experimental parameters reported in Ref. [9

9. J. Y. Kim, K. Lee, N. E. Coates, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, M. Dante, and A. J. Heeger, “Efficient tandem polymer solar cells fabricated by all-solution processing,” Science 317(5835), 222–225 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. for this simulation. One can see that the simulation curve agrees reasonably well with the measured results, providing evidence of the predictive capability of our simulation and its ability to reproduce experimental results.

Appendix B. Solar photon flux spectrum

Appendix C. Estimation of JSC for different active layer thicknesses

Under the assumptions of unity internal quantum efficiency and 100% charge collection, the maximum calculated JSC of the P3HT:PC70BM device is estimated with different active layer thicknesses, as shown in Fig. 8. The parameters of the metallic nanostructure, which were optimized for a 30nm thick active layer, were kept constant as the active layer thickness was varied. One can see that considerable enhancement in JSC can be achieved with the nanopatterned metallic structures over a range of active layer thicknesses. While, the estimated enhancement is smaller for the thickest active layers, SRSPP absorption enhancement should permit effective device operation with thinner active layers. However, it must be emphasized that while the above simulation provides qualitative trends, the assumption of unity internal quantum efficiency is not valid over the range of thicknesses considered and a more rigorous calculation is needed to obtain quantitative results.

References and links

1.

M. A. Green, “Third generation photovoltaics: Solar cells for 2020 and beyond,” Physica E 14(1-2), 65–70 (2002). [CrossRef]

2.

M. A. Green, “Recent developments in photovoltaics,” Sol. Energy 76(1-3), 3–8 (2004). [CrossRef]

3.

G. J. Bauhuis, P. Mulder, E. J. Haverkamp, J. C. C. M. Huijben, and J. J. Schermer, “26.1% thin-film GaAs solar cell using epitaxial lift-off,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 93(9), 1488–1491 (2009). [CrossRef]

4.

M. A. Contreras, B. Egaas, K. Ramanathan, J. Hiltner, A. Swartzlander, F. Hasoon, and R. Noufi, “Progress toward 20% efficiency in Cu(In,Ca)Se-2 polycrystalline thin-film solar cells,” Prog. Photovoltaics 7(4), 311–316 (1999). [CrossRef]

5.

A. Romeo, A. Terheggen, D. Abou-Ras, D. L. Bätzner, F.-J. Haug, M. Kälin, D. Rudmann, and A. N. Tiwari, “Development of thin-film Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and CdTe solar cells,” Prog. Photovoltaics 12(23), 93–111 (2004). [CrossRef]

6.

P. Peumans, S. Uchida, and S. R. Forrest, “Efficient bulk heterojunction photovoltaic cells using small-molecular-weight organic thin films,” Nature 425(6954), 158–162 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

G. Li, V. Shrotriya, J. Huang, Y. Yao, T. Moriarty, K. Emery, and Y. Yang, “High-efficiency solution processable polymer photovoltaic cells by self-organization of polymer blends,” Nat. Mater. 4(11), 864–868 (2005). [CrossRef]

8.

M. C. Scharber, D. Mühlbacher, M. Koppe, P. Denk, C. Waldauf, A. J. Heeger, and C. J. Brabec, “Design Rules for Donors in Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cells - Towards 10% Energy-Conversion Efficiency,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 18(6), 789–794 (2006). [CrossRef]

9.

J. Y. Kim, K. Lee, N. E. Coates, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, M. Dante, and A. J. Heeger, “Efficient tandem polymer solar cells fabricated by all-solution processing,” Science 317(5835), 222–225 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

10.

N. S. Sariciftci, L. Smilowitz, A. J. Heeger, and F. Wudl, “Photoinduced electron transfer from a conducting polymer to buckminsterfullerene,” Science 258(5087), 1474–1476 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

11.

G. Yu, J. Gao, J. C. Hummelen, F. Wudl, and A. J. Heeger, “Polymer Photovoltaic Cells: Enhanced Efficiencies via a Network of Internal Donor-Acceptor Heterojunctions,” Science 270(5243), 1789–1791 (1995). [CrossRef]

12.

H. Hoppe and N. S. Sariciftci, “Organic solar cells: an overview,” J. Mater. Res. 19(7), 1924–1945 (2004). [CrossRef]

13.

D. E. Markov, C. Tanase, P. W. M. Blom, and J. Wildeman, “Simultaneous enhancement of charge transport and exciton diffusion in poly(p-phenylene vinylene) derivatives,” Phys. Rev. B 72(4), 045217 (2005). [CrossRef]

14.

P. E. Shaw, A. Ruseckas, and I. D. W. Samuel, “Exciton Diffusion Measurements in Poly(3-hexylthiophene,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 20(18), 3516–3520 (2008). [CrossRef]

15.

S. Sista, M.-H. Park, Z. Hong, Y. Wu, J. Hou, W. L. Kwan, G. Li, and Y. Yang, “Highly efficient tandem polymer photovoltaic cells,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 22(3), 380–383 (2010). [CrossRef]

16.

S. H. Park, A. Roy, S. Beaupre, S. Cho, N. Coates, J. S. Moon, D. Moses, M. Leclerc, K. Lee, and A. J. Heeger, “Bulk heterojunction solar cells with internal quantum efficiency approaching 100%,” Nat. Photonics 3(5), 297–302 (2009). [CrossRef]

17.

M.-H. Chen, J. Hou, Z. Hong, G. Yang, S. Sista, L.-M. Chen, and Y. Yang, “Efficient Polymer Solar Cells with Thin Active Layers Based on Alternating Polyfluorene Copolymer/Fullerene Bulk Heterojunctions,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 21(42), 4238–4242 (2009). [CrossRef]

18.

G. Li, V. Shrotriya, Y. Yao, and Y. Yang, “Investigation of annealing effects and film thickness dependence of polymer solar cells based on poly(3-hexylthiophene),” J. Appl. Phys. 98(4), 043704 (2005). [CrossRef]

19.

F. Monestier, J. Simon, P. Torchio, L. Escoubas, F. Flory, S. Bailly, R. Debettignies, S. Guillerez, and C. Defranoux, “Modeling the short-circuit current density of polymer solar cells based on P3HT:PCBM blend,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 91(5), 405–410 (2007). [CrossRef]

20.

M. A. Green, Solar Cells: Operating Principles, Technology and System Applications (Univ. New South Wales, 1998).

21.

V. Y. Yerokhov, R. Hezel, M. Lipinski, R. Ciach, H. Nagel, A. Mylyanych, and P. Panek, “Cost-effective methods of texturing for silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 72(1-4), 291–298 (2002). [CrossRef]

22.

H. Sai, H. Fujiwara, and M. Kondo, “Back surface reflectors with periodic textures fabricated by self-ordering process for light trapping in thin-film microcrystalline silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 93(6-7), 1087–1090 (2009). [CrossRef]

23.

H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

24.

H. Raether, Surface Plasmons on Smooth and Rough Surfaces and on Gratings (Springer: Berlin, 1988).

25.

E. Ozbay, “Plasmonics: merging photonics and electronics at nanoscale dimensions,” Science 311(5758), 189–193 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

26.

V. M. Shalaev, and S. Kawata, Nanophotonics with surface plasmons (Elsevier, 2007).

27.

M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Luth, and D. Meissner, “Metal cluster enhanced organic solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61(1), 97–105 (2000). [CrossRef]

28.

B. P. Rand, P. Peumans, and S. R. Forrest, “Long-range absorption enhancement in organic tandem thin-film solar cells containing silver nanoclusters,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(12), 7519 (2004). [CrossRef]

29.

K. Tvingstedt, N.-K. Persson, O. Inganäs, A. Rahachou, and I. V. Zozoulenko, “Surface plasmon increase absorption in polymer photovoltaic cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 91(11), 113514 (2007). [CrossRef]

30.

A. J. Morfa, K. L. Rowlen, T. H. Reilly III, M. J. Romero, and J. van de Lagemaat, “Plasmon-enhanced solar energy conversion in organic bulk heterojunction photovoltaics,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(1), 013504 (2008). [CrossRef]

31.

D. S. Derkacs, H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006). [CrossRef]

32.

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, “Surface plasmon enhanced silicon solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 101(9), 093105 (2007). [CrossRef]

33.

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, “Plasmonic solar cells,” Opt. Express 16(26), 21793–21800 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

34.

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced light absorption in GaAs solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(12), 121904 (2008). [CrossRef]

35.

C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008). [CrossRef]

36.

V. E. Ferry, L. A. Sweatlock, D. Pacifici, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanostructure design for efficient light coupling into solar cells,” Nano Lett. 8(12), 4391–4397 (2008). [CrossRef]

37.

R. A. Pala, J. White, E. Barnard, J. Liu, and M. L. Brongersma, “Design of Plasmonic Thin-Film Solar Cells with Broadband Absorption Enhancements,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 21(34), 3504–3509 (2009). [CrossRef]

38.

W. Bai, Q. Gan, F. Bartoli, J. Zhang, L. Cai, Y. Huang, and G. Song, “Design of plasmonic back structures for efficiency enhancement of thin-film amorphous Si solar cells,” Opt. Lett. 34(23), 3725–3727 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

39.

C. Min, J. Li, G. Veronis, J.-Y. Lee, S. Fan, and P. Peumans, “Enhancement of optical absorption in thin-film organic solar cells through the excitation of plasmonic modes in metallic gratings,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(13), 133302 (2010). [CrossRef]

40.

W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett. 10(6), 2012–2018 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

41.

G. Dennler, K. Forberich, T. Ameri, C. Waldauf, P. Denk, C. J. Brabec, K. Hingerl, and A. J. Heeger, “Design of efficient organic tandem cells: On the interplay between molecular absorption and layer sequence,” J. Appl. Phys. 102(12), 123109 (2007). [CrossRef]

42.

H. Hoppe, N. S. Sariciftci, and D. Meissner, “Optical Constants of Conjugated Polymer/Fullerene Based Bulk-Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells,” Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. (Phila. Pa.) 385(1), 113 (2002). [CrossRef]

43.

E. D. Palik, Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press: Orlando, FL, 1985).

44.

J. Braun, B. Gompf, G. Kobiela, and M. Dressel, “How holes can obscure the view: suppressed transmission through an ultrathin metal film by a subwavelength hole array,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 103(20), 203901 (2009). [CrossRef]

45.

J. J. Burke, G. I. Stegeman, and T. Tamir, “Surface-polariton-like waves guided by thin, lossy metal films,” Phys. Rev. B Condens. Matter 33(8), 5186–5201 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

46.

Z. Chen, I. R. Hooper, and J. R. Sambles, “Strongly coupled surface plasmons on thin shallow metallic gratings,” Phys. Rev. B 77(16), 161405 (2008). [CrossRef]

47.

A. V. Zayats, I. I. Smolyaninov, and A. A. Maradudin, “Nano-optics of surface plasmon polaritons,” Phys. Rep. 408(3-4), 131–314 (2005). [CrossRef]

48.

C. Genet and T. W. Ebbesen, “Light in tiny holes,” Nature 445(7123), 39–46 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

49.

F. Yang, J. R. Sambles, and G. W. Bradberry, “Long-range surface modes supported by thin film,” Phys. Rev. B 44(11), 5855–5872 (1991). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(040.5350) Detectors : Photovoltaic
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(250.5403) Optoelectronics : Plasmonics

ToC Category:
Photovoltaics

History
Original Manuscript: September 7, 2010
Revised Manuscript: September 30, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: October 8, 2010
Published: October 27, 2010

Citation
Wenli Bai, Qiaoqiang Gan, Guofeng Song, Lianghui Chen, Zakya Kafafi, and Filbert Bartoli, "Broadband short-range surface plasmon structures for absorption enhancement in organic photovoltaics," Opt. Express 18, A620-A630 (2010)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-18-S4-A620


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References

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  18. G. Li, V. Shrotriya, Y. Yao, and Y. Yang, “Investigation of annealing effects and film thickness dependence of polymer solar cells based on poly(3-hexylthiophene),” J. Appl. Phys. 98(4), 043704 (2005). [CrossRef]
  19. F. Monestier, J. Simon, P. Torchio, L. Escoubas, F. Flory, S. Bailly, R. Debettignies, S. Guillerez, and C. Defranoux, “Modeling the short-circuit current density of polymer solar cells based on P3HT:PCBM blend,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 91(5), 405–410 (2007). [CrossRef]
  20. M. A. Green, Solar Cells: Operating Principles, Technology and System Applications (Univ. New South Wales, 1998).
  21. V. Y. Yerokhov, R. Hezel, M. Lipinski, R. Ciach, H. Nagel, A. Mylyanych, and P. Panek, “Cost-effective methods of texturing for silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 72(1-4), 291–298 (2002). [CrossRef]
  22. H. Sai, H. Fujiwara, and M. Kondo, “Back surface reflectors with periodic textures fabricated by self-ordering process for light trapping in thin-film microcrystalline silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 93(6-7), 1087–1090 (2009). [CrossRef]
  23. H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. H. Raether, Surface Plasmons on Smooth and Rough Surfaces and on Gratings (Springer: Berlin, 1988).
  25. E. Ozbay, “Plasmonics: merging photonics and electronics at nanoscale dimensions,” Science 311(5758), 189–193 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. V. M. Shalaev, and S. Kawata, Nanophotonics with surface plasmons (Elsevier, 2007).
  27. M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Luth, and D. Meissner, “Metal cluster enhanced organic solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61(1), 97–105 (2000). [CrossRef]
  28. B. P. Rand, P. Peumans, and S. R. Forrest, “Long-range absorption enhancement in organic tandem thin-film solar cells containing silver nanoclusters,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(12), 7519 (2004). [CrossRef]
  29. K. Tvingstedt, N.-K. Persson, O. Inganäs, A. Rahachou, and I. V. Zozoulenko, “Surface plasmon increase absorption in polymer photovoltaic cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 91(11), 113514 (2007). [CrossRef]
  30. A. J. Morfa, K. L. Rowlen, T. H. Reilly, M. J. Romero, and J. van de Lagemaat, “Plasmon-enhanced solar energy conversion in organic bulk heterojunction photovoltaics,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(1), 013504 (2008). [CrossRef]
  31. D. S. Derkacs, H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006). [CrossRef]
  32. S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, “Surface plasmon enhanced silicon solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 101(9), 093105 (2007). [CrossRef]
  33. K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, “Plasmonic solar cells,” Opt. Express 16(26), 21793–21800 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  34. K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced light absorption in GaAs solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(12), 121904 (2008). [CrossRef]
  35. C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008). [CrossRef]
  36. V. E. Ferry, L. A. Sweatlock, D. Pacifici, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanostructure design for efficient light coupling into solar cells,” Nano Lett. 8(12), 4391–4397 (2008). [CrossRef]
  37. R. A. Pala, J. White, E. Barnard, J. Liu, and M. L. Brongersma, “Design of Plasmonic Thin-Film Solar Cells with Broadband Absorption Enhancements,” Adv. Mater. (Deerfield Beach Fla.) 21(34), 3504–3509 (2009). [CrossRef]
  38. W. Bai, Q. Gan, F. Bartoli, J. Zhang, L. Cai, Y. Huang, and G. Song, “Design of plasmonic back structures for efficiency enhancement of thin-film amorphous Si solar cells,” Opt. Lett. 34(23), 3725–3727 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  39. C. Min, J. Li, G. Veronis, J.-Y. Lee, S. Fan, and P. Peumans, “Enhancement of optical absorption in thin-film organic solar cells through the excitation of plasmonic modes in metallic gratings,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(13), 133302 (2010). [CrossRef]
  40. W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett. 10(6), 2012–2018 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  41. G. Dennler, K. Forberich, T. Ameri, C. Waldauf, P. Denk, C. J. Brabec, K. Hingerl, and A. J. Heeger, “Design of efficient organic tandem cells: On the interplay between molecular absorption and layer sequence,” J. Appl. Phys. 102(12), 123109 (2007). [CrossRef]
  42. H. Hoppe, N. S. Sariciftci, and D. Meissner, “Optical Constants of Conjugated Polymer/Fullerene Based Bulk-Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells,” Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. (Phila. Pa.) 385(1), 113 (2002). [CrossRef]
  43. E. D. Palik, Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press: Orlando, FL, 1985).
  44. J. Braun, B. Gompf, G. Kobiela, and M. Dressel, “How holes can obscure the view: suppressed transmission through an ultrathin metal film by a subwavelength hole array,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 103(20), 203901 (2009). [CrossRef]
  45. J. J. Burke, G. I. Stegeman, and T. Tamir, “Surface-polariton-like waves guided by thin, lossy metal films,” Phys. Rev. B Condens. Matter 33(8), 5186–5201 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  46. Z. Chen, I. R. Hooper, and J. R. Sambles, “Strongly coupled surface plasmons on thin shallow metallic gratings,” Phys. Rev. B 77(16), 161405 (2008). [CrossRef]
  47. A. V. Zayats, I. I. Smolyaninov, and A. A. Maradudin, “Nano-optics of surface plasmon polaritons,” Phys. Rep. 408(3-4), 131–314 (2005). [CrossRef]
  48. C. Genet and T. W. Ebbesen, “Light in tiny holes,” Nature 445(7123), 39–46 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  49. F. Yang, J. R. Sambles, and G. W. Bradberry, “Long-range surface modes supported by thin film,” Phys. Rev. B 44(11), 5855–5872 (1991). [CrossRef]

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