Abstract

In this paper, the performance of solar cells with graphene transparent electrodes is compared with cells using conventional indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes, and it is demonstrated the optical absorption of solar cells with bare graphene structure is worse than that of bare ITO structure because of the higher refractive index of graphene. To enhance the light trapping of graphene-based thin-film solar cells, a simple two-layer SiO2/SiC structure is proposed as antireflection coatings deposited on top of graphene transparent electrodes, and the thickness of each layer is optimized by differential evolution in order to enhance the optical absorption of a-Si:H thin-film solar cells to the greatest degree. The optimization results demonstrate the optimal SiO2/SiC/graphene structure can obtain 37.30% enhancement with respect to bare ITO structure, which has obviously exceeded the light-trapping enhancement of 34.15% for the optimal SiO2/SiC/ITO structure. Therefore, with the aid of the light-trapping structure, the graphene films are a very promising indium-free transparent electrode substitute for the conventional ITO electrode for use in cost-efficient thin-film silicon solar cells.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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