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Published September 22, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced light absorption in GaAs solar cells


We demonstrate an improvement in efficiency of optically thin GaAs solar cells decorated with size-controlled Ag nanoparticles fabricated by masked deposition through anodic aluminum oxide templates. The strong scattering by the interacting surface plasmons in densely formed high aspect-ratio nanoparticles effectively increases the optical path of the incident light in the absorber layers resulting in an 8% increase in the short circuit current density of the cell. The nanoparticle array sheet conductivity also reduces the cell surface sheet resistance evidenced by an improved fill factor. This dual function of plasmonic nanoparticles has potential to enable thinner photovoltaic layers in solar cells.

Additional Information

© 2008 American Institute of Physics. Received 24 July 2008; accepted 31 August 2008; published 22 September 2008. This work was supported by the Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences under Grant No. DE-FG02-07ER46405, and Nippon Oil Corporation. We also acknowledge support from the Center for Science and Engineering of Materials (CSEM), a NSF Material Research Science and Engineering Center at Caltech, for facilities use.

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