Nanometallic (i.e. plasmonic) and high index dielectric nanostructures have gained significant interest for their ability to boost the energy conversion efficiency of photovoltaic and photo-electrochemical cells. Such structures can help direct the flow of light into those regions of the cell where photo-generated carriers are most effectively used. In doing so, we can address one of the main limitations of current solar cell designs: the large mismatch between the relevant electronic length-scale (minority carrier or exciton diffusion length) and photonic length-scale (absorption depth of light). I will discuss recent progress in the development of periodic/aperiodic plasmonic and high index structures to boost performance of energy conversion devices.
© 2011 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article