Abstract

We perform detailed theoretical analysis on the relation between the symmetry in periodic nanostructures and its light-trapping performance in thin film photovoltaics. The symmetry-breaking approach for light trapping implicitly assumes that the increase in the number of resonances would enhance broadband absorption. However, our calculations show that this assumption is not entirely true. We find that the correlation between the number of resonances and the spectral average absorption is only rough. By breaking the symmetry systematically, we identify the symmetry-breaking steps that significantly enhance broadband absorption. Our results show that these symmetry-breaking steps do not always agree with the steps that increase the number of resonances. However, both the level of absorptance and the number of resonances in general increase by symmetry breaking, which is in agreement with previously reported results. Our results suggest that the development of experimental symmetry-breaking techniques in light-trapping nanostructures should not be guided solely based on simple group theory analysis.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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