An integral optical and electrical analysis of the effect of different diffuse light scattering designs on the performance of dye solar cells is herein presented. Light harvesting efficiencies and electron generation functions extracted from optical numerical calculations based on a Monte Carlo approach are introduced in a standard electron diffusion model to obtain the steady-state characteristics of the different configurations considered. We demonstrate that there is a strong dependence of the incident photon to current conversion efficiency, and thus of the overall conversion efficiency, on the interplay between the value of the electron diffusion length considered and the type of light scattering design employed, which determines the spatial dependence of the electron generation function. A comparative analysis between the performance of different types of metal or dielectric particles as diffuse scatterers is made, optimized designs for different combinations of electrode thickness and electron diffusion length being proposed.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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