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Published March 25, 2013 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Silicon Solar Cell Light-Trapping Using Defect Mode Photonic Crystals


Nanostructured active or absorbing layers of solar cells, including photonic crystals and wire arrays, have been increasingly explored as potential options to enhance performance of thin film solar cells because of their unique ability to control light. We show that 2D photonic crystals can improve light trapping by an enhanced density of optical states and improved incoupling, and demonstrate, using FDTD simulation, absorption enhancements in 200nm thick crystalline silicon solar cells of up to 205% from λ = 300nm to 1100nm compared to a planar cell with an optimized two-layer antireflection coating. We report here a method to further enhance absorption by introducing a lattice of coupled defect modes into the photonic crystal, which modify the available optical states in the absorber. Our results show that 2D photonic crystals are a viable and rich research option for light trapping in thin film photovoltaics.

Additional Information

© 2013 SPIE. This work was supported by the Bay Area Photovoltaics Consortium and the Caltech-Taiwan Energy Exchange program through National Central University; Kelsey A. Whitesell also acknowledges fellowship support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship program.

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