Research Papers

Absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells by two-dimensional periodic nanopatterns

[+] Author Affiliations
Shaomin Wu, Wei Wang

University of Texas at Austin, Materials Science and Engineering, 1 University Station, Austin, TX 78712

Kitt Reinhardt

United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research, AFOSR/NE, 875 North Randolph Street, Arlington, VA 22203

Yalin Lu

United States Air Force Academy, Physics Department, Laser Optics Research Center, Colorado Springs, CO 80840

Shaochen Chen

University of Texas at Austin, Mechanical Engineering Department, Austin, TX 78712

J. Nanophoton. 4(1), 043515 (August 27, 2010). doi:10.1117/1.3490295
History: Received April 29, 2010; Revised August 21, 2010; Accepted August 25, 2010; August 27, 2010; Online August 27, 2010
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Abstract

A major problem of current silicon thin film solar cells lies in low carrier collection efficiency due to short carrier diffusion length. Instead of improving the collection efficiency in a relatively thick solar cell, increasing light absorption while still keeping the active layer thin is an alternative solution. Absorption enhancement in a thin film Si solar cell by incorporating a two-dimensional periodic metallic nanopattern was investigated using three-dimensional finite element analysis. By studying the enhancement effect brought by different materials, dimensions, coverage, and dielectric environments of the metal nanopattern, we found that absorption enhancement occurs at wavelength range outside surface plasmons resonance of the nanostructures. The exploitation of the nanostructures also enhances the Fabry-Perot resonance in the active layer. It plays an important role in optimizing the absorption of the solar cell.

© 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Shaomin Wu ; Wei Wang ; Kitt Reinhardt ; Yalin Lu and Shaochen Chen
"Absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells by two-dimensional periodic nanopatterns", J. Nanophoton. 4(1), 043515 (August 27, 2010). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3490295


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