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Published January 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Simulations of solar cell absorption enhancement using resonant modes of a nanosphere array


We propose an approach for enhancing the absorption of thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells using periodic arrangements of resonant dielectric nanospheres deposited as a continuous film on top of a thin planar cell. We numerically demonstrate this enhancement using three dimensional (3D) full field, finite difference time domain simulations and 3D finite element device physics simulations of a nanosphere array above a thin-film amorphous silicon solar cell structure featuring back reflector and anti-reflection coating. In addition, we use the full field finite difference time domain results as input to finite element device physics simulations to demonstrate that the enhanced absorption contributes to the current extracted from the device. We study the influence of a multi-sized array of spheres, compare spheres and domes, and propose an analytical model based on the temporal coupled mode theory.

Additional Information

© 2012 SPIE. Paper 12007P received Jan. 30, 2012; revised manuscript received Feb. 28, 2012; accepted for publication Mar. 13, 2012; published online May 16, 2012. The authors wish to thank Raymond A. Weitekamp and Daniel B. Turner-Evans for useful technical input regarding simulations. The authors acknowledge support from the DOE "Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion" Energy Frontier Research Center under grant DE-SC0001293.

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