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Published December 16, 2013 | Published
Journal Article Open

Light trapping in ultrathin silicon photonic crystal superlattices with randomly-textured dielectric incouplers


We report here several different superlattice photonic crystal based designs for 200nm thick c-Si solar cells, demonstrating that these structures have the ability to increase broadband absorption from λ = 300nm to 1100nm by more than 100% compared to a planar cell with an optimized anti-reflection coating. We show that adding superlattices into photonic crystals introduces new optical modes that contribute to enhanced absorption. The greatest improvements are obtained when combining a superlattice photonic crystal with a randomly textured dielectric coating that improves incoupling into the modes of the absorbing region. Finally, we show that our design methodology is also applicable to layers 1 to 4 microns in thickness, where absorbed currents competitive with conventional thick Si solar cells may be achieved.

Additional Information

© 2013 Optical Society of America. Received 22 Aug 2013; revised 5 Nov 2013; accepted 21 Nov 2013; published 3 Dec 2013. D. M. C. acknowledges the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science through the 'Light Material Interactions Energy Frontier Research Center' under contract number DE-SC0001293. K. A. W. H. acknowledges the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium under award number DE-EE0004946 and a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

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