Abstract

The spatial dependence of absorption in a structured thin film solar cell is investigated through the rigorous coupled-wave analysis method. The investigated structure allows strong localized surface plasmon and surface plasmon polaritons, simultaneously. The absorptance of silver and amorphous silicon can be separately accounted for by calculating the time-averaged energy dissipation although only the absorption of amorphous silicon contributes to the photocurrent. In our studied case, the metallic material absorbs around 15%-20% of the total impinging sunlight while the active layer absorbs only ~50%.

© 2010 OSA

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2010 (1)

Yu. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, “Nanoparticle-enhanced thin film solar cells: metallic or dielectric nanoparticles?” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(7), 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

2009 (7)

2008 (7)

M. Agrawal and P. Peumans, “Broadband optical absorption enhancement through coherent light trapping in thin-film photovoltaic cells,” Opt. Express 16(8), 5385–5396 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. C. Lee, C. F. Huang, J. Y. Chang, and M. L. Wu, “Enhanced light trapping based on guided mode resonance effect for thin-film silicon solar cells with two filling-factor gratings,” Opt. Express 16(11), 7969–7975 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Hägglund, M. Zach, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008).
[CrossRef]

J. J. Hench and Z. Strakos, “The RCWA method – a case study with open questions and perspectives of algebraic computations,” Electron. Trans. Num. Anal. 31, 331–357 (2008).

Z. Wu, J. W. Haus, Q. Zhan, and R. L. Nelcon, “Plasmonic notch filter design based on long-rang surface plasmon excitation along metal grating,” Plasmonics 3(2-3), 103–108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

C. Rockstuhi, S. Fahr, and F. Lederer, “Absorption enhancement in solar cells by localized plasmon polaritons,” J. Appl. Phys. 104(12), 123102 (2008).
[CrossRef]

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced light absorption in GaAs solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(12), 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

2007 (2)

2006 (3)

A. P. Hibbins, W. A. Hurray, J. Tyler, S. Wedge, W. L. Barnes, and J. R. Sambles, “Resonant absorption of electromagnetic fields by surface plasmons buried in a multilayered plasmonic nanostructure,” Phys. Rev. B 74(7), 073408 (2006).
[CrossRef]

A. Christ, T. Zentgraf, S. G. Tikhodeev, N. A. Gippius, J. Kuhl, and H. Giessen, “Controlling the interaction between localized and delocalized surface plasmon modes: experiment and numerical calculations,” Phys. Rev. B 74(15), 155435 (2006).
[CrossRef]

R. Gordon, “Light in a subwavelength slit in a metal: propagation and reflection,” Phys. Rev. B 73(15), 153405 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2003 (1)

P. Peumans, A. Yakimov, and S. R. Forrest, “Small molecular weight organic thin-film photodetectors and solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 93(7), 3693–3723 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2002 (1)

1998 (1)

H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, D. E. Grupp, T. W. Ebbesen, and H. J. Lezec, “Surface plasmons enhance optical transmission through subwavelength holes,” Phys. Rev. B 58(11), 6779–6782 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1995 (1)

1990 (1)

J. Morris, R. R. Arya, J. G. O’Dowd, and S. Wiedeman, “Absorption enhancement in hydrogenated amorphous silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 67(2), 1079–1087 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Agrawal, M.

Akimov, Y. A.

Akimov, Yu. A.

Yu. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, “Nanoparticle-enhanced thin film solar cells: metallic or dielectric nanoparticles?” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(7), 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Yu. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, “Surface plasmon enhancement of optical absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Plasmonics 4(2), 107–113 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Arya, R. R.

J. Morris, R. R. Arya, J. G. O’Dowd, and S. Wiedeman, “Absorption enhancement in hydrogenated amorphous silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 67(2), 1079–1087 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Atwater, H. A.

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced light absorption in GaAs solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(12), 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Bai, W.

Barnes, W. L.

A. P. Hibbins, W. A. Hurray, J. Tyler, S. Wedge, W. L. Barnes, and J. R. Sambles, “Resonant absorption of electromagnetic fields by surface plasmons buried in a multilayered plasmonic nanostructure,” Phys. Rev. B 74(7), 073408 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Bartoli, F.

Bermel, P.

Bielawny, A.

Bienstman, P.

H. Shen, P. Bienstman, and B. Maes, “Plasmonic absorption enhancement in organic solar cells with thin active layers,” J. Appl. Phys. 106(7), 073109 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Cai, L.

Cao, Q.

Catchpole, K. R.

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, “Surface plasmon enhanced silicon solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 101(9), 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Chang, J. Y.

Christ, A.

A. Christ, T. Zentgraf, S. G. Tikhodeev, N. A. Gippius, J. Kuhl, and H. Giessen, “Controlling the interaction between localized and delocalized surface plasmon modes: experiment and numerical calculations,” Phys. Rev. B 74(15), 155435 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Drouard, E.

Ebbesen, T. W.

H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, D. E. Grupp, T. W. Ebbesen, and H. J. Lezec, “Surface plasmons enhance optical transmission through subwavelength holes,” Phys. Rev. B 58(11), 6779–6782 (1998).
[CrossRef]

El Daif, O.

Fahr, S.

C. Rockstuhi, S. Fahr, and F. Lederer, “Absorption enhancement in solar cells by localized plasmon polaritons,” J. Appl. Phys. 104(12), 123102 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Fave, A.

Forrest, S. R.

P. Peumans, A. Yakimov, and S. R. Forrest, “Small molecular weight organic thin-film photodetectors and solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 93(7), 3693–3723 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Gan, Q.

Ghaemi, H. F.

H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, D. E. Grupp, T. W. Ebbesen, and H. J. Lezec, “Surface plasmons enhance optical transmission through subwavelength holes,” Phys. Rev. B 58(11), 6779–6782 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Giessen, H.

A. Christ, T. Zentgraf, S. G. Tikhodeev, N. A. Gippius, J. Kuhl, and H. Giessen, “Controlling the interaction between localized and delocalized surface plasmon modes: experiment and numerical calculations,” Phys. Rev. B 74(15), 155435 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Gippius, N. A.

A. Christ, T. Zentgraf, S. G. Tikhodeev, N. A. Gippius, J. Kuhl, and H. Giessen, “Controlling the interaction between localized and delocalized surface plasmon modes: experiment and numerical calculations,” Phys. Rev. B 74(15), 155435 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Gordon, R.

R. Gordon, “Light in a subwavelength slit in a metal: propagation and reflection,” Phys. Rev. B 73(15), 153405 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Grann, B. E.

Green, M. A.

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, “Surface plasmon enhanced silicon solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 101(9), 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Grupp, D. E.

H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, D. E. Grupp, T. W. Ebbesen, and H. J. Lezec, “Surface plasmons enhance optical transmission through subwavelength holes,” Phys. Rev. B 58(11), 6779–6782 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Hägglund, C.

C. Hägglund and B. Kasemo, “Nanoparticle plasmonics for 2D-photovoltaics: mechanisms, optimization, and limits,” Opt. Express 17(14), 11944–11957 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Hägglund, M. Zach, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Haus, J. W.

Z. Wu, J. W. Haus, Q. Zhan, and R. L. Nelcon, “Plasmonic notch filter design based on long-rang surface plasmon excitation along metal grating,” Plasmonics 3(2-3), 103–108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Hench, J. J.

J. J. Hench and Z. Strakos, “The RCWA method – a case study with open questions and perspectives of algebraic computations,” Electron. Trans. Num. Anal. 31, 331–357 (2008).

Hibbins, A. P.

A. P. Hibbins, W. A. Hurray, J. Tyler, S. Wedge, W. L. Barnes, and J. R. Sambles, “Resonant absorption of electromagnetic fields by surface plasmons buried in a multilayered plasmonic nanostructure,” Phys. Rev. B 74(7), 073408 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Huang, C. F.

Huang, Y.

Hugonin, J. P.

Hurray, W. A.

A. P. Hibbins, W. A. Hurray, J. Tyler, S. Wedge, W. L. Barnes, and J. R. Sambles, “Resonant absorption of electromagnetic fields by surface plasmons buried in a multilayered plasmonic nanostructure,” Phys. Rev. B 74(7), 073408 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Joannopoulos, J. D.

Kaminski, A.

Kasemo, B.

C. Hägglund and B. Kasemo, “Nanoparticle plasmonics for 2D-photovoltaics: mechanisms, optimization, and limits,” Opt. Express 17(14), 11944–11957 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Hägglund, M. Zach, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Kimerling, L. C.

Koh, W. S.

Yu. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, “Nanoparticle-enhanced thin film solar cells: metallic or dielectric nanoparticles?” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(7), 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, and K. Ostrikov, “Enhancement of optical absorption in thin-film solar cells through the excitation of higher-order nanoparticle plasmon modes,” Opt. Express 17(12), 10195–10205 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kuhl, J.

A. Christ, T. Zentgraf, S. G. Tikhodeev, N. A. Gippius, J. Kuhl, and H. Giessen, “Controlling the interaction between localized and delocalized surface plasmon modes: experiment and numerical calculations,” Phys. Rev. B 74(15), 155435 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Lalanne, P.

Lederer, F.

A. Bielawny, C. Rockstuhl, F. Lederer, and R. B. Wehrspohn, “Intermediate reflectors for enhanced top cell performance in photovoltaic thin-film tandem cells,” Opt. Express 17(10), 8439–8446 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Rockstuhi, S. Fahr, and F. Lederer, “Absorption enhancement in solar cells by localized plasmon polaritons,” J. Appl. Phys. 104(12), 123102 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Lee, Y. C.

Lemiti, M.

Letartre, X.

Lezec, H. J.

H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, D. E. Grupp, T. W. Ebbesen, and H. J. Lezec, “Surface plasmons enhance optical transmission through subwavelength holes,” Phys. Rev. B 58(11), 6779–6782 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Li, E. P.

Yu. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, “Surface plasmon enhancement of optical absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Plasmonics 4(2), 107–113 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Luo, C.

Maes, B.

H. Shen, P. Bienstman, and B. Maes, “Plasmonic absorption enhancement in organic solar cells with thin active layers,” J. Appl. Phys. 106(7), 073109 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Moharam, M. G.

Morris, J.

J. Morris, R. R. Arya, J. G. O’Dowd, and S. Wiedeman, “Absorption enhancement in hydrogenated amorphous silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 67(2), 1079–1087 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Nakayama, K.

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced light absorption in GaAs solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(12), 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Nelcon, R. L.

Z. Wu, J. W. Haus, Q. Zhan, and R. L. Nelcon, “Plasmonic notch filter design based on long-rang surface plasmon excitation along metal grating,” Plasmonics 3(2-3), 103–108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

O’Dowd, J. G.

J. Morris, R. R. Arya, J. G. O’Dowd, and S. Wiedeman, “Absorption enhancement in hydrogenated amorphous silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 67(2), 1079–1087 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Ostrikov, K.

Yu. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, “Surface plasmon enhancement of optical absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Plasmonics 4(2), 107–113 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, and K. Ostrikov, “Enhancement of optical absorption in thin-film solar cells through the excitation of higher-order nanoparticle plasmon modes,” Opt. Express 17(12), 10195–10205 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Park, Y.

Petersson, G.

C. Hägglund, M. Zach, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Peumans, P.

M. Agrawal and P. Peumans, “Broadband optical absorption enhancement through coherent light trapping in thin-film photovoltaic cells,” Opt. Express 16(8), 5385–5396 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

P. Peumans, A. Yakimov, and S. R. Forrest, “Small molecular weight organic thin-film photodetectors and solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 93(7), 3693–3723 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Pillai, S.

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, “Surface plasmon enhanced silicon solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 101(9), 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Pommet, A. D.

Ren, S.

Yu. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, “Nanoparticle-enhanced thin film solar cells: metallic or dielectric nanoparticles?” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(7), 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Rockstuhi, C.

C. Rockstuhi, S. Fahr, and F. Lederer, “Absorption enhancement in solar cells by localized plasmon polaritons,” J. Appl. Phys. 104(12), 123102 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Rockstuhl, C.

Sambles, J. R.

A. P. Hibbins, W. A. Hurray, J. Tyler, S. Wedge, W. L. Barnes, and J. R. Sambles, “Resonant absorption of electromagnetic fields by surface plasmons buried in a multilayered plasmonic nanostructure,” Phys. Rev. B 74(7), 073408 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Seassal, C.

Shen, H.

H. Shen, P. Bienstman, and B. Maes, “Plasmonic absorption enhancement in organic solar cells with thin active layers,” J. Appl. Phys. 106(7), 073109 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Sian, S. Y.

Yu. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, “Nanoparticle-enhanced thin film solar cells: metallic or dielectric nanoparticles?” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(7), 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Song, G.

Strakos, Z.

J. J. Hench and Z. Strakos, “The RCWA method – a case study with open questions and perspectives of algebraic computations,” Electron. Trans. Num. Anal. 31, 331–357 (2008).

Tanabe, K.

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced light absorption in GaAs solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(12), 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Thio, T.

H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, D. E. Grupp, T. W. Ebbesen, and H. J. Lezec, “Surface plasmons enhance optical transmission through subwavelength holes,” Phys. Rev. B 58(11), 6779–6782 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Tikhodeev, S. G.

A. Christ, T. Zentgraf, S. G. Tikhodeev, N. A. Gippius, J. Kuhl, and H. Giessen, “Controlling the interaction between localized and delocalized surface plasmon modes: experiment and numerical calculations,” Phys. Rev. B 74(15), 155435 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Trupke, T.

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, “Surface plasmon enhanced silicon solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 101(9), 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Tyler, J.

A. P. Hibbins, W. A. Hurray, J. Tyler, S. Wedge, W. L. Barnes, and J. R. Sambles, “Resonant absorption of electromagnetic fields by surface plasmons buried in a multilayered plasmonic nanostructure,” Phys. Rev. B 74(7), 073408 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Viktorovitch, P.

Wedge, S.

A. P. Hibbins, W. A. Hurray, J. Tyler, S. Wedge, W. L. Barnes, and J. R. Sambles, “Resonant absorption of electromagnetic fields by surface plasmons buried in a multilayered plasmonic nanostructure,” Phys. Rev. B 74(7), 073408 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Wehrspohn, R. B.

Wiedeman, S.

J. Morris, R. R. Arya, J. G. O’Dowd, and S. Wiedeman, “Absorption enhancement in hydrogenated amorphous silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 67(2), 1079–1087 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Wu, M. L.

Wu, Z.

Z. Wu, J. W. Haus, Q. Zhan, and R. L. Nelcon, “Plasmonic notch filter design based on long-rang surface plasmon excitation along metal grating,” Plasmonics 3(2-3), 103–108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Yakimov, A.

P. Peumans, A. Yakimov, and S. R. Forrest, “Small molecular weight organic thin-film photodetectors and solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 93(7), 3693–3723 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Zach, M.

C. Hägglund, M. Zach, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Zeng, L.

Zentgraf, T.

A. Christ, T. Zentgraf, S. G. Tikhodeev, N. A. Gippius, J. Kuhl, and H. Giessen, “Controlling the interaction between localized and delocalized surface plasmon modes: experiment and numerical calculations,” Phys. Rev. B 74(15), 155435 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Zhan, Q.

Z. Wu, J. W. Haus, Q. Zhan, and R. L. Nelcon, “Plasmonic notch filter design based on long-rang surface plasmon excitation along metal grating,” Plasmonics 3(2-3), 103–108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Zhang, J.

Appl. Phys. Lett. (3)

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, “Plasmonic nanoparticle enhanced light absorption in GaAs solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(12), 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Yu. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, “Nanoparticle-enhanced thin film solar cells: metallic or dielectric nanoparticles?” Appl. Phys. Lett. 96(7), 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

C. Hägglund, M. Zach, G. Petersson, and B. Kasemo, “Electromagnetic coupling of light into a silicon solar cell by nanodisk plasmons,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(5), 053110 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Electron. Trans. Num. Anal. (1)

J. J. Hench and Z. Strakos, “The RCWA method – a case study with open questions and perspectives of algebraic computations,” Electron. Trans. Num. Anal. 31, 331–357 (2008).

J. Appl. Phys. (5)

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the plasmonic multilayer structure (PMS), showing simplified structure of a thin film solar cell. The PMS consists of a silver (Ag) grating-like front electrode, a thin amorphous silicon (a-Si) active layer, and a backside Ag reflector/electrode (from bottom to top). The TM-polarized wave is launched from the bottom with an incident angle of θi.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Angle-resolved absorptance spectra for (a) W = 50nm and (b) W = 120nm. The other geometric parameters are identical. The parallel wave vector of the launch light (kx) is obtained from kx = k0sinθi. The launch angle (θi) varies from 0° to 60° and the spectrum scans wavelength from 300nm to 900nm. The absorptance is obtained from the far field results (1-R-T) through the RCWA method.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Spatial distribution of absorptance and Hy amplitude field distribution of the PMS with W = 50nm at wavelengths of 350nm and 760nm. Localized SPs happen at λ = 350nm and SPPs happen at λ = 760nm.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Absorptance spectra with W = 50nm and W = 120nm at (a) (b) normal incident or (c) (d) oblique incident conditions. The “far field” line indicates the absorptance calculated from the far field result (1-R-T). The “a-Si” line and “Ag” line respectively indicate the a-Si absorptance and Ag absorptance, which are calculated from Eq. (2) and are spatially integrated. The “a-Si+Ag” line indicates the summation of the “a-Si” line and “Ag” line.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Electron-hole pair generation rate distribution with (a) (c) W = 50nm, and (b) (d) 120nm at launch angles of 0° and 30°, respectively. The generation rate is calculated by summing the spatial distribution of the absorptance in spectra from 300nm to 900nm with a weighting of AM1.5d solar radiation spectrum. We assume the quantum efficiency is 1 in a-Si and 0 in Ag.

Equations (2)

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1 4 π ( E D t + H B t ) + d i v ( c 4 π ( E × H ) ) = 0 ,
P = ω Im [ ε ] 2 | E | 2 ,

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