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Published April 12, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced photocurrent in GaN/InGaN/GaN quantum well solar cells


We demonstrate enhanced external quantum efficiency and current-voltage characteristics due to scattering by 100 nm silver nanoparticles in a single 2.5 nm thick InGaN quantum well photovoltaic device. Nanoparticle arrays were fabricated on the surface of the device using an anodic alumina template masking process. The Ag nanoparticles increase light scattering, light trapping, and carrier collection in the III-N semiconductor layers leading to enhancement of the external quantum efficiency by up to 54%. Additionally, the short-circuit current in cells with 200 nm p-GaN emitter regions is increased by 6% under AM 1.5 illumination. AFORS-Het simulation software results were used to predict cell performance and optimize emitter layer thickness.

Additional Information

© 2010 American Institute of Physics. Received 26 February 2010; accepted 11 March 2010; published online 12 April 2010; publisher error corrected 20 April 2010. This research was supported by the Department of Energy Solar Energy Technology Program, the Global Climate and Energy Program, and the Caltech Center for Sustainable Energy Research. One of the authors (IMP) acknowledges the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

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