Abstract

We present a concept for improving the efficiency of thin-film solar cells via scattering from dielectric particles. The particles are embedded directly within the semiconductor absorber material with sizes on the order of one wavelength. Importantly, this geometry is fully compatible with the use of an anti-reflective coating (ARC) to maximize light capture. The concept is demonstrated through finite-difference time domain (FDTD) simulations of spherical SiO2 particles embedded within a 1.0 µm layer of crystalline silicon (c-Si) utilizing a 75 nm ARC of Si3N4. Several geometries are presented, with gains in absorbed photon flux occurring in the red end of the spectrum where silicon absorption is weak. The total integrated absorption of incident photon flux across the visible AM-1.5 spectrum is on the order of 5-10% greater than the same geometry without any dielectric scatterers.

© 2010 OSA

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  1. C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).
  2. L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  3. H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  4. B. P. Rand, P. Peumans, and S. R. Forrest, “Long-range absorption enhancement in organic tandem thin-film solar cells containing silver nanoclusters,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(12), 7519–7526 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  5. P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  6. Lumerical Solutions, Inc., http://www.lumerical.com/ .
  7. E. D. Palik, Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press, 1998)
  8. A. Meldrum, L. A. Boatner, and C. W. White, “Nanocomposites formed by ion implantation: recent developments and future opportunities,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 178(1-4), 7–16 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  9. V. V. Voronkov and R. Falster, “Latent complexes of interstitial boron and oxygen dimers as a reason for degradation of silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 107(5), 053509 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  10. J. A. Kong, Electromagnetic Wave Theory (EMW Publishing, 2000).
  11. C. F. Bohren, and D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (John Wiley & Sons, 1983).
  12. D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  13. D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, “Enhanced semiconductor optical absorption via surface plasmon excitation in metal nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(6), 063106 (2005).
    [CrossRef]

2010 (2)

H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010).
[CrossRef]

V. V. Voronkov and R. Falster, “Latent complexes of interstitial boron and oxygen dimers as a reason for degradation of silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 107(5), 053509 (2010).
[CrossRef]

2008 (2)

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

2006 (2)

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2005 (1)

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, “Enhanced semiconductor optical absorption via surface plasmon excitation in metal nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(6), 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

2004 (1)

B. P. Rand, P. Peumans, and S. R. Forrest, “Long-range absorption enhancement in organic tandem thin-film solar cells containing silver nanoclusters,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(12), 7519–7526 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2001 (1)

A. Meldrum, L. A. Boatner, and C. W. White, “Nanocomposites formed by ion implantation: recent developments and future opportunities,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 178(1-4), 7–16 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Alamariu, B. A.

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Atwater, H. A.

H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Boatner, L. A.

A. Meldrum, L. A. Boatner, and C. W. White, “Nanocomposites formed by ion implantation: recent developments and future opportunities,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 178(1-4), 7–16 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Derkacs, D.

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Drouard, E.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Duan, X.

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Falster, R.

V. V. Voronkov and R. Falster, “Latent complexes of interstitial boron and oxygen dimers as a reason for degradation of silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 107(5), 053509 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Fave, A.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Feng, B.

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, “Enhanced semiconductor optical absorption via surface plasmon excitation in metal nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(6), 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Feng, N.

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Forrest, S. R.

B. P. Rand, P. Peumans, and S. R. Forrest, “Long-range absorption enhancement in organic tandem thin-film solar cells containing silver nanoclusters,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(12), 7519–7526 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Fourmond, E.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Hong, C.

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Kaminski, A.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Kimerling, L. C.

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Lemiti, M.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Letartre, X.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Lim, S. H.

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Liu, J.

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Mar, W.

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Matheu, P.

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

McPheeters, C.

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Meldrum, A.

A. Meldrum, L. A. Boatner, and C. W. White, “Nanocomposites formed by ion implantation: recent developments and future opportunities,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 178(1-4), 7–16 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Park, Y.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Peumans, P.

B. P. Rand, P. Peumans, and S. R. Forrest, “Long-range absorption enhancement in organic tandem thin-film solar cells containing silver nanoclusters,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(12), 7519–7526 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Polman, A.

H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Rand, B. P.

B. P. Rand, P. Peumans, and S. R. Forrest, “Long-range absorption enhancement in organic tandem thin-film solar cells containing silver nanoclusters,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(12), 7519–7526 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Schaadt, D. M.

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, “Enhanced semiconductor optical absorption via surface plasmon excitation in metal nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(6), 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Seassal, C.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Viktorovitch, P.

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Voronkov, V. V.

V. V. Voronkov and R. Falster, “Latent complexes of interstitial boron and oxygen dimers as a reason for degradation of silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 107(5), 053509 (2010).
[CrossRef]

White, C. W.

A. Meldrum, L. A. Boatner, and C. W. White, “Nanocomposites formed by ion implantation: recent developments and future opportunities,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 178(1-4), 7–16 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Yi, Y.

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Yu, E. T.

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, “Enhanced semiconductor optical absorption via surface plasmon excitation in metal nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(6), 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Zeng, L.

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (4)

L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, L. C. Kimerling, and B. A. Alamariu, “Efficiency enhancement in Si solar cells by textured photonic crystal back reflector,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(11), 111111 (2006).
[CrossRef]

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, “Metal and dielectric nanoparticle scattering for improved optical absorption in photovoltaic devices,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(11), 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(9), 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, “Enhanced semiconductor optical absorption via surface plasmon excitation in metal nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(6), 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (2)

V. V. Voronkov and R. Falster, “Latent complexes of interstitial boron and oxygen dimers as a reason for degradation of silicon-based solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 107(5), 053509 (2010).
[CrossRef]

B. P. Rand, P. Peumans, and S. R. Forrest, “Long-range absorption enhancement in organic tandem thin-film solar cells containing silver nanoclusters,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(12), 7519–7526 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Nat. Mater. (1)

H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9(3), 205–213 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B (1)

A. Meldrum, L. A. Boatner, and C. W. White, “Nanocomposites formed by ion implantation: recent developments and future opportunities,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 178(1-4), 7–16 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Proc. SPIE (1)

C. Seassal, Y. Park, A. Fave, E. Drouard, E. Fourmond, A. Kaminski, M. Lemiti, X. Letartre, and P. Viktorovitch, “Photonic crystal assisted ultra-thin silicon photovoltaic solar cell,” Proc. SPIE 7002, 700207 (2008).

Other (4)

J. A. Kong, Electromagnetic Wave Theory (EMW Publishing, 2000).

C. F. Bohren, and D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (John Wiley & Sons, 1983).

Lumerical Solutions, Inc., http://www.lumerical.com/ .

E. D. Palik, Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press, 1998)

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