Abstract

In order to improve the optical absorption of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin film solar cells, a new structure consisted of ITO layer with the nonresonant nanoparticles embedded in it and a-Si:H layer, is proposed. By optimizing both the thickness of a-Si:H layer and nanoparticles size, the effects of Fabry-Perot resonance and the scattering of incident light are discussed and analyzed. It is demonstrated that the enhanced optical absorption can be achieved due to the coupling of incident light and nanostructure, simultaneously the proposed structure can be considered as gradient refractive index structure to restrain the reflection at the interface of ITO and a-Si:H thin film.

© 2011 OSA

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

  • View by:
  • |
  • |
  • |

  1. A. Krasnov, “Light scattering by textured transparent electrodes for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells94(10), 1648–1657 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  2. W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett.10(6), 2012–2018 (2010).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. D. Madzharov, R. Dewan, and D. Knipp, “Influence of front and back grating on light trapping in microcrystalline thin-film silicon solar cells,” Opt. Express19(Suppl 2), A95–A107 (2011).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. L. Hu and G. Chen, “Analysis of optical absorption in silicon nanowire arrays for photovoltaic applications,” Nano Lett.7(11), 3249–3252 (2007).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  6. Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Resonant and nonresonant plasmonic nanoparticle enhancement for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nanotechnology21(23), 235201 (2010).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. T. L. Temple, G. D. K. Mahanama, H. S. Reehal, and D. M. Bagnall, “Influence of localized surface plasmon excitation in silver nanoparticles on the performance of silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells93(11), 1978–1985 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  9. Y. 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]
  10. C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, 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]
  11. Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Design of plasmonic nanoparticles for efficient subwavelength light trapping in thin-film solar cells,” Plasmonics6(1), 155–161 (2011).
    [CrossRef]
  12. K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, “Plasmonic solar cells,” Opt. Express16(26), 21793–21800 (2008).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. D. B. Ge and Y. B. Yan, Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method for Electromagnetic Waves (Xidian University Press, 2005).
  14. A. Taflove and S. Hagness, Computational Electrodynamics: The Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method, 2nd ed. (Artech House, 2000).
  15. H. Piller, “Silicon (Amorphous) (a-Si),” and D. Y. Smith, E. Shiles and M. Inokuti, “The Optical Properties of Metallic Aluminum,” in Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids, E.D. Palik, ed. (Academic 1985).
  16. J. C. Maxwell-Garnett, “Colours in metal glasses and in metallic films,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond.203(359-371), 385–420 (1904).
    [CrossRef]
  17. C. F. Bohren and D. R. Huffman, “Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles.” (Wiley 1998).

2011

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Design of plasmonic nanoparticles for efficient subwavelength light trapping in thin-film solar cells,” Plasmonics6(1), 155–161 (2011).
[CrossRef]

D. Madzharov, R. Dewan, and D. Knipp, “Influence of front and back grating on light trapping in microcrystalline thin-film silicon solar cells,” Opt. Express19(Suppl 2), A95–A107 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2010

Y. 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]

A. Krasnov, “Light scattering by textured transparent electrodes for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells94(10), 1648–1657 (2010).
[CrossRef]

W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett.10(6), 2012–2018 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Resonant and nonresonant plasmonic nanoparticle enhancement for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nanotechnology21(23), 235201 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2009

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

T. L. Temple, G. D. K. Mahanama, H. S. Reehal, and D. M. Bagnall, “Influence of localized surface plasmon excitation in silver nanoparticles on the performance of silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells93(11), 1978–1985 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2008

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, “Plasmonic solar cells,” Opt. Express16(26), 21793–21800 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, 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]

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2007

L. Hu and G. Chen, “Analysis of optical absorption in silicon nanowire arrays for photovoltaic applications,” Nano Lett.7(11), 3249–3252 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1904

J. C. Maxwell-Garnett, “Colours in metal glasses and in metallic films,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond.203(359-371), 385–420 (1904).
[CrossRef]

Akimov, Y. A.

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Design of plasmonic nanoparticles for efficient subwavelength light trapping in thin-film solar cells,” Plasmonics6(1), 155–161 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Resonant and nonresonant plasmonic nanoparticle enhancement for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nanotechnology21(23), 235201 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. 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]

Bagnall, D. M.

T. L. Temple, G. D. K. Mahanama, H. S. Reehal, and D. M. Bagnall, “Influence of localized surface plasmon excitation in silver nanoparticles on the performance of silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells93(11), 1978–1985 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Carius, R.

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Catchpole, K. R.

Chen, G.

L. Hu and G. Chen, “Analysis of optical absorption in silicon nanowire arrays for photovoltaic applications,” Nano Lett.7(11), 3249–3252 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chen, S.

W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett.10(6), 2012–2018 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Dewan, R.

Hägglund, C.

C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, 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]

Hu, L.

L. Hu and G. Chen, “Analysis of optical absorption in silicon nanowire arrays for photovoltaic applications,” Nano Lett.7(11), 3249–3252 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kasemo, B.

C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, 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]

Knipp, D.

Koh, W. S.

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Design of plasmonic nanoparticles for efficient subwavelength light trapping in thin-film solar cells,” Plasmonics6(1), 155–161 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Y. 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 and W. S. Koh, “Resonant and nonresonant plasmonic nanoparticle enhancement for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nanotechnology21(23), 235201 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Krasnov, A.

A. Krasnov, “Light scattering by textured transparent electrodes for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells94(10), 1648–1657 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Kwong, D.-L.

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Li, J.

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Lo, P. G.-Q.

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Lu, Y.

W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett.10(6), 2012–2018 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Luo, P.

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Madzharov, D.

Mahanama, G. D. K.

T. L. Temple, G. D. K. Mahanama, H. S. Reehal, and D. M. Bagnall, “Influence of localized surface plasmon excitation in silver nanoparticles on the performance of silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells93(11), 1978–1985 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Maxwell-Garnett, J. C.

J. C. Maxwell-Garnett, “Colours in metal glasses and in metallic films,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond.203(359-371), 385–420 (1904).
[CrossRef]

Moulin, E.

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Petersson, G.

C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, 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]

Polman, A.

Reehal, H. S.

T. L. Temple, G. D. K. Mahanama, H. S. Reehal, and D. M. Bagnall, “Influence of localized surface plasmon excitation in silver nanoparticles on the performance of silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells93(11), 1978–1985 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Reinhardt, K.

W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett.10(6), 2012–2018 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Ren, S.

Y. 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]

Royer, F. X.

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sian, S. Y.

Y. 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]

Stiebig, H.

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sukmanowski, J.

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sun, X.

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Temple, T. L.

T. L. Temple, G. D. K. Mahanama, H. S. Reehal, and D. M. Bagnall, “Influence of localized surface plasmon excitation in silver nanoparticles on the performance of silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells93(11), 1978–1985 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Wang, W.

W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett.10(6), 2012–2018 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Wong, S. M.

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Wu, S.

W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett.10(6), 2012–2018 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Yu, H. Y.

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Zäch, M.

C. Hägglund, M. Zäch, 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]

Zhang, G.

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett.

J. Li, H. Y. Yu, S. M. Wong, G. Zhang, X. Sun, P. G.-Q. Lo, and D.-L. Kwong, “Si nanopillar array optimization on Si thin films for solar energy harvesting,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(3), 033102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. 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. Zäch, 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. Non-Cryst. Solids

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. X. Royer, and H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids354(19–25) 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nano Lett.

L. Hu and G. Chen, “Analysis of optical absorption in silicon nanowire arrays for photovoltaic applications,” Nano Lett.7(11), 3249–3252 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

W. Wang, S. Wu, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, “Broadband light absorption enhancement in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nano Lett.10(6), 2012–2018 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nanotechnology

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Resonant and nonresonant plasmonic nanoparticle enhancement for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Nanotechnology21(23), 235201 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Express

Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond.

J. C. Maxwell-Garnett, “Colours in metal glasses and in metallic films,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond.203(359-371), 385–420 (1904).
[CrossRef]

Plasmonics

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, “Design of plasmonic nanoparticles for efficient subwavelength light trapping in thin-film solar cells,” Plasmonics6(1), 155–161 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells

T. L. Temple, G. D. K. Mahanama, H. S. Reehal, and D. M. Bagnall, “Influence of localized surface plasmon excitation in silver nanoparticles on the performance of silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells93(11), 1978–1985 (2009).
[CrossRef]

A. Krasnov, “Light scattering by textured transparent electrodes for thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells94(10), 1648–1657 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Other

C. F. Bohren and D. R. Huffman, “Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles.” (Wiley 1998).

D. B. Ge and Y. B. Yan, Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method for Electromagnetic Waves (Xidian University Press, 2005).

A. Taflove and S. Hagness, Computational Electrodynamics: The Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method, 2nd ed. (Artech House, 2000).

H. Piller, “Silicon (Amorphous) (a-Si),” and D. Y. Smith, E. Shiles and M. Inokuti, “The Optical Properties of Metallic Aluminum,” in Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids, E.D. Palik, ed. (Academic 1985).

Cited By

OSA participates in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. Citing articles from OSA journals and other participating publishers are listed here.

Alert me when this article is cited.


Figures (13)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram and cross-section view of thin film solar cells structure used.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Optical absorption of different film structures with varying a-Si:H layer thickness.(a, c) Optical absorption of a-Si:H/Al film structures at wavelength range 300 nm to 1000 nm and 600 nm to 650 nm, respectively.(b, d) Optical absorption of ITO/a-Si:H/Al film structures at wavelength range 300 nm to 1000 nm and 600 nm to 650 nm, respectively.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Integral absorbed power of a-Si:H/Al and ITO/ a-Si:H/Al film structures with varying a-Si:H layer thickness.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Normalized magnetic-field intensity distribution of a-Si:H thin film solar cell structure at the case of normal incidence, and the wavelengths is 714 nm.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Mapping the absorption enhancement with varying structural parameters. For all nanoparticle-added cases, the nanoparticles are embedded in ITO. Absorption enhancement with both wavelength and nanoparticle radius. The other parameters h 1, h 2, h 3 are 100 nm, 250 nm, 100 nm, respectively and the period Λ x = Λ y = 100 nm.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Cross-section view of ITO layer structure.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Magnetic-field intensity plots across Al nanoparticle (a) in air and (b) embedded in ITO of proposed structure.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Wavelength-dependent absorption of the structure with nanoparticles and without nanoparticles.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Wavelength-dependent absorption enhancement of a-Si:H thickness of 250 nm for different nanoparticle sizes of 10 nm, 20 nm, 30 nm, 40 nm and 50 nm.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Integral absorbed power with varying nanoparticle radius.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Wavelength-dependent absorption with different embedded position of nanoparticles.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Cross-sectional view of three structures. (a) Al nanoparticles at the surface of ITO. (b) Al nanoparticles embedded in the ITO and at the surface of a-Si:H layer at once. (c) Al nanoparticles embedded in a-Si:H layer.

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Wavelength-dependent absorption with different nanoparticle positions.

Equations (3)

Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.

{ × H = D t D = ε E             × E = B t B = μ H         ,
ε r , e f f = ε r , I T O [ 1 3 ϕ ( ε r , I T O ε r , p ) 2 ε r , I T O + ε r , p + ϕ ( ε r , I T O ε r , p ) ] ,
C s c a = 8 π 3 3 λ 4 | α 2 | ,

Metrics