Diffractive optical structures for increasing the efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells are discussed. As a consequence of the indirect band gap, light absorption becomes very ineffective near the band edge. This can be remedied by use of optimized diffraction gratings that lead to light trapping. We present blazed gratings that increase the optically effective cell thickness by approximately a factor of 5. In addition we present a wideband antireflection structure for glass that consists of a diffraction grating with a dielectric overcoat, which leads to an average reflection of less than 0.6% in the wavelength range between 300 and 2100 nm.
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