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Light trapping in ultrathin plasmonic solar cells

Ferry, Vivian E. and Verschuuren, Marc A. and Li, Hongbo B. T. and Verhagen, Ewold and Walters, Robert J. and Schropp, Ruud E. I. and Atwater, Harry A. and Polman, Albert (2010) Light trapping in ultrathin plasmonic solar cells. Optics Express, 18 (13). A237-A245. ISSN 1094-4087. doi:10.1364/OE.18.00A237.

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We report on the design, fabrication, and measurement of ultrathin film a-Si:H solar cells with nanostructured plasmonic back contacts, which demonstrate enhanced short circuit current densities compared to cells having flat or randomly textured back contacts. The primary photocurrent enhancement occurs in the spectral range from 550 nm to 800 nm. We use angle-resolved photocurrent spectroscopy to confirm that the enhanced absorption is due to coupling to guided modes supported by the cell. Full-field electromagnetic simulation of the absorption in the active a-Si:H layer agrees well with the experimental results. Furthermore, the nanopatterns were fabricated via an inexpensive, scalable, and precise nanopatterning method. These results should guide design of optimized, non-random nanostructured back reflectors for thin film solar cells.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Schropp, Ruud E. I.0000-0003-4175-2658
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Polman, Albert0000-0002-0685-3886
Additional Information:© 2010 Optical Society of America. Received 12 May 2010; revised 7 Jun 2010; accepted 8 Jun 2010; published 24 Jun 2010. C. H. M. van der Werf is acknowledged for solar cell depositions, L. A. Sweatlock for insights in FDTD simulations, and R. de Waele and I. M. Pryce for discussions. The Caltech portion of this work was supported by the Department of Energy under contract number DEFG02- 07ER46405 (modeling) and SETP GO-18006 (cell fabrication). Work at AMOLF is part of the research program of FOM which is financially supported by NWO. The work at Utrecht University was fully supported internally. This work is part of the Smart-Mix program Memphis and the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-07ER46405
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
Utrecht UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:13
Classification Code:OCIS codes: (250.5403) Plasmonics; (350.6050) Solar Energy
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100714-133202109
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Vivian E. Ferry, Marc A. Verschuuren, Hongbo B. T. Li, Ewold Verhagen, Robert J. Walters, Ruud E. I. Schropp, Harry A. Atwater, and Albert Polman, "Light trapping in ultrathin plasmonic solar cells," Opt. Express 18, A237-A245 (2010)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:19045
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Jul 2010 21:50
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:49

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