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Published December 2011 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Modeling Light Trapping in Nanostructured Solar Cells


The integration of nanophotonic and plasmonic structures with solar cells offers the ability to control and confine light in nanoscale dimensions. These nanostructures can be used to couple incident sunlight into both localized and guided modes, enhancing absorption while reducing the quantity of material. Here we use electromagnetic modeling to study the resonances in a solar cell containing both plasmonic metal back contacts and nanostructured semiconductor top contacts, identify the local and guided modes contributing to enhanced absorption, and optimize the design. We then study the role of the different interfaces and show that Al is a viable plasmonic back contact material.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Chemical Society. Received for review October 11, 2011 and accepted November 14, 2011. Publication Date (Web): November 14, 2011. We are grateful to R. Schropp, C. van der Werf, and M. Verschuuren for cell fabrication. The Caltech portion of this work was supported by the Department of Energy under Contract Number DE-FG02-07ER46405 (modeling) and SETP GO-18006 (cell fabrication). Work at AMOLF is part of the research program of FOM which is financially supported by NWO; it is also supported by the European Research Counsel. This work is also part of the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP).

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