Abstract

We study n-i-p amorphous silicon solar cells with light-scattering nanoparticles in the back reflector. In one configuration, the particles are fully embedded in the zinc oxide buffer layer; In a second configuration, the particles are placed between the buffer layer and the flat back electrode. We use stencil lithography to produce the same periodic arrangement of the particles and we use the same solar cell structure on top, thus establishing a fair comparison between a novel plasmonic concept and its more traditional counterpart. Both approaches show strong resonances around 700 nm in the external quantum efficiency the position and intensity of which vary strongly with the nanoparticle shape. Moreover, disagreement between simulations and our experimental results suggests that the dielectric data of bulk silver do not correctly represent the reality. A better fit is obtained by introducing a porous interfacial layer between the silver and zinc oxide. Without the interfacial layer, e.g. by improved processing of the nanoparticles, our simulations show that the nanoparticles concept could outperform traditional back reflectors.

© 2013 OSA

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    [CrossRef]
  46. C. Lee, T. Lee, Y. Jen, “Ion-assisted deposition of silver thin films,” Thin Solid Films 359(1), 95–97 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  47. Z. Holman, M. Filipic, A. Descoeudres, S. De Wolf, F. Smole, M. Topic, C. Ballif, “Infrared light management in high-efficiency silicon heterojunction and rear-passivated solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 113, 013107 (2013).
    [CrossRef]

2013

C. Pahud, V. Savu, M. Klein, O. Vazquez-Mena, J. Brugger, C. Ballif, “Stencil-nanopatterned back reflectors for thin-film amorphous silicon n-i-p solar cells,” IEEE J. Photovolt. 3(1), 22–26, (2013).
[CrossRef]

O. Isabella, S. Solntsev, D. Caratelli, M. Zeman, “3-D optical modeling of thin-film silicon solar cells on diffraction gratings,” Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 21(1), 94–108 (2013).
[CrossRef]

A. Naqavi, F. Haug, C. Ballif, T. Scharf, H. Herzig, “Limit of light coupling strength in solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 102(13), 1113 (2013).
[CrossRef]

Z. Holman, M. Filipic, A. Descoeudres, S. De Wolf, F. Smole, M. Topic, C. Ballif, “Infrared light management in high-efficiency silicon heterojunction and rear-passivated solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 113, 013107 (2013).
[CrossRef]

2012

M. Green, S. Pillai, “Harnessing plasmonics for solar cells,” Nature Photon. 6(3), 130–132 (2012).
[CrossRef]

Z. Yu, A. Raman, S. Fan, “Thermodynamic upper bound on broadband light coupling with photonic structures,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109(17), 173901 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

H. Mizuno, H. Sai, K. Matsubara, M. Kondo, “Light trapping by Ag nanoparticles chemically assembled inside thin-film hydrogenated microcrystalline Si solar cells,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 51, 042302 (2012).
[CrossRef]

H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. Smets, M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 12(8), 4070–4076 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Santbergen, T. Temple, R. Liang, A. Smets, R. Swaaij, M. Zeman, “Application of plasmonic silver island films in thin-film silicon solar cells,” J. Opt. 14, 024010 (2012).
[CrossRef]

U. Paetzold, E. Moulin, B. Pieters, U. Rau, R. Carius, “Optical simulations of microcrystalline silicon solar cells applying plasmonic reflection grating back contacts,” J. Photon. Energy 2(1), 027002 (2012).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daifa, L. Tong, B. Figeys, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, A. Dmitriev, P. Van Dorpe, I. Gordon, F. Dross, “Front side plasmonic effect on thin silicon epitaxial solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 104, 58–63 (2012).
[CrossRef]

2011

V. Ferry, A. Polman, H. Atwater, “Modeling light-trapping in nanostructured solar cells,” ACS Nano 5(12), 10055–10064 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

O. Vazquez-Mena, T. Sannomiya, L. Villanueva, J. Voros, J. Brugger, “Metallic nanodot arrays by stencil lithography for plasmonic biosensing applications,” ACS Nano 5(2), 844–853 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Klein, F. Montagne, N. Blondiaux, O. Vazquez-Mena, H. Heinzelmann, R. Pugin, J. Brugger, V. Savu, “SiN membranes with submicrometer hole arrays patterned by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 29(2), 012–021 (2011).
[CrossRef]

C. Eminian, F. Haug, O. Cubero, X. Niquille, C. Ballif, “Photocurrent enhancement in thin film amorphous silicon solar cells with silver nanoparticles,” Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 19(3), 260–265 (2011).
[CrossRef]

K. Söderström, F. Haug, J. Escarré, C. Pahud, R. Biron, C. Ballif, “Highly reflective nanotextured sputtered silver back reflector for flexible high-efficiency n–i–p thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 95(12), 3585–3591 (2011).
[CrossRef]

A. Naqavi, K. Söderström, F. Haug, V. Paeder, T. Scharf, H. Herzig, C. Ballif, “Understanding of photocurrent enhancement in real thin film solar cells: towards optimal one-dimensional gratings,” Opt. Express 19(1), 128–140 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2010

J. Wang, F. Tsai, J. Huang, C. Chen, N. Li, Y. Kiang, C. Yang, “Enhancing InGaN-based solar cell efficiency through localized surface plasmon interaction by embedding Ag nanoparticles in the absorbing layer,” Opt. express,  18(3), 2682–2694 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

F. Tsai, J. Wang, J. Huang, Y. Kiang, C. Yang, “Absorption enhancement of an amorphous Si solar cell through surface plasmon-induced scattering with metal nanoparticles,” Opt. Express 18(102), A207–A220 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Biswas, D. Zhou, “Simulation and modelling of photonic and plasmonic crystal back reflectors for efficient light trapping,” Phys. Status Solidi A. 207(3), 667–670 (2010).
[CrossRef]

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

S. Fay, J. Steinhauser, S. Nicolay, C. Ballif, “Polycrystalline ZnO: B grown by LPCVD as TCO for thin film silicon solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 518(11), 2961–2966 (2010).
[CrossRef]

2009

C. Rockstuhl, F. Lederer, “Photon management by metallic nanodiscs in thin film solar cells,” Appl. Phys Lett. 94, 213102 (2009).
[CrossRef]

F. Beck, A. Polman, K. Catchpole, “Tunable light trapping for solar cells using localized surface plasmons,” J. Appl. Phys. 105, 114310 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2008

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. Royer, H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids 354(19), 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef]

2007

C. Haase, H. Stiebig, “Thin-film silicon solar cells with efficient periodic light trapping texture,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 061116 (2007).
[CrossRef]

2006

K. Catchpole, S. Pillai, “Absorption enhancement due to scattering by dipoles into silicon waveguides,” J. Appl. Phys. 100, 044504 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. Guha, J. Yang, “Progress in amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon solar cells,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids 352, 1917–1921 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2003

K. Kelly, E. Coronado, L. Zhao, G. Schatz, “The optical properties of metal nanoparticles: the influence of size, shape, and dielectric environment,” J. Phys. Chem. B 107(3), 668–677 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2001

C. Eisele, C. Nebel, M. Stutzmann, “Periodic light coupler gratings in amorphous thin film solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 89, 7722 (2001).
[CrossRef]

2000

C. Lee, T. Lee, Y. Jen, “Ion-assisted deposition of silver thin films,” Thin Solid Films 359(1), 95–97 (2000).
[CrossRef]

1999

O. Kluth, B. Rech, L. Houben, S. Wieder, G. Schöpe, C. Beneking, H. Wagner, A. Löffl, H. Schock, “Texture etched ZnO: Al coated glass substrates for silicon based thin film solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 351(1), 247–253 (1999).
[CrossRef]

1997

J. Yang, A. Banerjee, S. Guha, “Triple-junction amorphous silicon alloy solar cell with 14.6% initial and 13.0% stable conversion efficiencies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 70(22), 2975–2977 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1996

H.R. Stuart, D.G. Hall, “Absorption enhancement in silicononinsulator waveguides using metal island films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 69, 2337 (1996).
[CrossRef]

D. Nash, J. Sambles, “Surface plasmon-polariton study of the optical dielectric function of silver,” J. Mod. Opt. 43(1), 81–91 (1996).

1991

A. Banerjee, S. Guha, “Study of back reflectors for amorphous silicon alloy solar cell application,” J. Appl. Phys. 69(2), 1030–1035 (1991).
[CrossRef]

1986

F. Parmigiani, E. Kay, T. Huang, J. Perrin, M. Jurich, J. Swalen, “Optical and electrical properties of thin silver films grown under ion bombardment,” Phys. Rev. B 33(2), 879 (1986).
[CrossRef]

1983

H. Deckman, C. Wronski, H. Witzke, E. Yablonovitch, “Optically enhanced amorphous silicon solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 42(11), 968–970 (1983).
[CrossRef]

1972

P. Johnson, R. Christy, “Optical constants of the noble metals,” Phys. Rev. B 6(12), 4370 (1972).
[CrossRef]

1910

L. Ingersoll, “The dispersion of metals in the infra-red spectrum,” Astrophys. J. 32(265), (1910).
[CrossRef]

Ahn, S.

H. Lee, S. Ahn, S. Lee, J. Choi, “Silicon thin film technology applications for low cost and high efficiency photovoltaics,” 21st International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference, Fukuoka 4A–2I–01 (2011).

Atwater, H.

V. Ferry, A. Polman, H. Atwater, “Modeling light-trapping in nanostructured solar cells,” ACS Nano 5(12), 10055–10064 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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

Bailat, J.

S. Benagli, D. Borello, E. Vallat-Sauvain, J. Meier, U. Kroll, J. Hoetzel, J. Bailat, J. Steinhauser, M. Marmelo, G. Monteduro, L. Castens, “High efficiency amorphous silicon devices on LP-CVD-ZnO TCO prepared in industrial KAI R&D reactor,” Conference Record 23th EU-PVSEC 3BO.9.3 (2009).

Ballif, C.

A. Naqavi, F. Haug, C. Ballif, T. Scharf, H. Herzig, “Limit of light coupling strength in solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 102(13), 1113 (2013).
[CrossRef]

C. Pahud, V. Savu, M. Klein, O. Vazquez-Mena, J. Brugger, C. Ballif, “Stencil-nanopatterned back reflectors for thin-film amorphous silicon n-i-p solar cells,” IEEE J. Photovolt. 3(1), 22–26, (2013).
[CrossRef]

Z. Holman, M. Filipic, A. Descoeudres, S. De Wolf, F. Smole, M. Topic, C. Ballif, “Infrared light management in high-efficiency silicon heterojunction and rear-passivated solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 113, 013107 (2013).
[CrossRef]

A. Naqavi, K. Söderström, F. Haug, V. Paeder, T. Scharf, H. Herzig, C. Ballif, “Understanding of photocurrent enhancement in real thin film solar cells: towards optimal one-dimensional gratings,” Opt. Express 19(1), 128–140 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Eminian, F. Haug, O. Cubero, X. Niquille, C. Ballif, “Photocurrent enhancement in thin film amorphous silicon solar cells with silver nanoparticles,” Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 19(3), 260–265 (2011).
[CrossRef]

K. Söderström, F. Haug, J. Escarré, C. Pahud, R. Biron, C. Ballif, “Highly reflective nanotextured sputtered silver back reflector for flexible high-efficiency n–i–p thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 95(12), 3585–3591 (2011).
[CrossRef]

S. Fay, J. Steinhauser, S. Nicolay, C. Ballif, “Polycrystalline ZnO: B grown by LPCVD as TCO for thin film silicon solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 518(11), 2961–2966 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Banerjee, A.

J. Yang, A. Banerjee, S. Guha, “Triple-junction amorphous silicon alloy solar cell with 14.6% initial and 13.0% stable conversion efficiencies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 70(22), 2975–2977 (1997).
[CrossRef]

A. Banerjee, S. Guha, “Study of back reflectors for amorphous silicon alloy solar cell application,” J. Appl. Phys. 69(2), 1030–1035 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Beck, F.

F. Beck, A. Polman, K. Catchpole, “Tunable light trapping for solar cells using localized surface plasmons,” J. Appl. Phys. 105, 114310 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Benagli, S.

S. Benagli, D. Borello, E. Vallat-Sauvain, J. Meier, U. Kroll, J. Hoetzel, J. Bailat, J. Steinhauser, M. Marmelo, G. Monteduro, L. Castens, “High efficiency amorphous silicon devices on LP-CVD-ZnO TCO prepared in industrial KAI R&D reactor,” Conference Record 23th EU-PVSEC 3BO.9.3 (2009).

Beneking, C.

O. Kluth, B. Rech, L. Houben, S. Wieder, G. Schöpe, C. Beneking, H. Wagner, A. Löffl, H. Schock, “Texture etched ZnO: Al coated glass substrates for silicon based thin film solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 351(1), 247–253 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Biron, R.

K. Söderström, F. Haug, J. Escarré, C. Pahud, R. Biron, C. Ballif, “Highly reflective nanotextured sputtered silver back reflector for flexible high-efficiency n–i–p thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 95(12), 3585–3591 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Biswas, R.

R. Biswas, D. Zhou, “Simulation and modelling of photonic and plasmonic crystal back reflectors for efficient light trapping,” Phys. Status Solidi A. 207(3), 667–670 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Blondiaux, N.

M. Klein, F. Montagne, N. Blondiaux, O. Vazquez-Mena, H. Heinzelmann, R. Pugin, J. Brugger, V. Savu, “SiN membranes with submicrometer hole arrays patterned by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 29(2), 012–021 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Borello, D.

S. Benagli, D. Borello, E. Vallat-Sauvain, J. Meier, U. Kroll, J. Hoetzel, J. Bailat, J. Steinhauser, M. Marmelo, G. Monteduro, L. Castens, “High efficiency amorphous silicon devices on LP-CVD-ZnO TCO prepared in industrial KAI R&D reactor,” Conference Record 23th EU-PVSEC 3BO.9.3 (2009).

Borg, H.

O. Isabella, A. Campa, M. Heijna, W. Soppa, R. van Ervan, R. Franken, H. Borg, M. Zeman, “Diffraction gratings for light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Conference Record of the 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference2320–2324 (2008).

Brugger, J.

C. Pahud, V. Savu, M. Klein, O. Vazquez-Mena, J. Brugger, C. Ballif, “Stencil-nanopatterned back reflectors for thin-film amorphous silicon n-i-p solar cells,” IEEE J. Photovolt. 3(1), 22–26, (2013).
[CrossRef]

O. Vazquez-Mena, T. Sannomiya, L. Villanueva, J. Voros, J. Brugger, “Metallic nanodot arrays by stencil lithography for plasmonic biosensing applications,” ACS Nano 5(2), 844–853 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Klein, F. Montagne, N. Blondiaux, O. Vazquez-Mena, H. Heinzelmann, R. Pugin, J. Brugger, V. Savu, “SiN membranes with submicrometer hole arrays patterned by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 29(2), 012–021 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Campa, A.

O. Isabella, A. Campa, M. Heijna, W. Soppa, R. van Ervan, R. Franken, H. Borg, M. Zeman, “Diffraction gratings for light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Conference Record of the 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference2320–2324 (2008).

Caratelli, D.

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M. Klein, F. Montagne, N. Blondiaux, O. Vazquez-Mena, H. Heinzelmann, R. Pugin, J. Brugger, V. Savu, “SiN membranes with submicrometer hole arrays patterned by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 29(2), 012–021 (2011).
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H. Lee, S. Ahn, S. Lee, J. Choi, “Silicon thin film technology applications for low cost and high efficiency photovoltaics,” 21st International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference, Fukuoka 4A–2I–01 (2011).

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U. Paetzold, E. Moulin, B. Pieters, U. Rau, R. Carius, “Optical simulations of microcrystalline silicon solar cells applying plasmonic reflection grating back contacts,” J. Photon. Energy 2(1), 027002 (2012).
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C. Eisele, C. Nebel, M. Stutzmann, “Periodic light coupler gratings in amorphous thin film solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 89, 7722 (2001).
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C. Eminian, F. Haug, O. Cubero, X. Niquille, C. Ballif, “Photocurrent enhancement in thin film amorphous silicon solar cells with silver nanoparticles,” Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 19(3), 260–265 (2011).
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Paetzold, U.

U. Paetzold, E. Moulin, B. Pieters, U. Rau, R. Carius, “Optical simulations of microcrystalline silicon solar cells applying plasmonic reflection grating back contacts,” J. Photon. Energy 2(1), 027002 (2012).
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F. Parmigiani, E. Kay, T. Huang, J. Perrin, M. Jurich, J. Swalen, “Optical and electrical properties of thin silver films grown under ion bombardment,” Phys. Rev. B 33(2), 879 (1986).
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U. Paetzold, E. Moulin, B. Pieters, U. Rau, R. Carius, “Optical simulations of microcrystalline silicon solar cells applying plasmonic reflection grating back contacts,” J. Photon. Energy 2(1), 027002 (2012).
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M. Green, S. Pillai, “Harnessing plasmonics for solar cells,” Nature Photon. 6(3), 130–132 (2012).
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M. Klein, F. Montagne, N. Blondiaux, O. Vazquez-Mena, H. Heinzelmann, R. Pugin, J. Brugger, V. Savu, “SiN membranes with submicrometer hole arrays patterned by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 29(2), 012–021 (2011).
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Z. Yu, A. Raman, S. Fan, “Thermodynamic upper bound on broadband light coupling with photonic structures,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109(17), 173901 (2012).
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U. Paetzold, E. Moulin, B. Pieters, U. Rau, R. Carius, “Optical simulations of microcrystalline silicon solar cells applying plasmonic reflection grating back contacts,” J. Photon. Energy 2(1), 027002 (2012).
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O. Kluth, B. Rech, L. Houben, S. Wieder, G. Schöpe, C. Beneking, H. Wagner, A. Löffl, H. Schock, “Texture etched ZnO: Al coated glass substrates for silicon based thin film solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 351(1), 247–253 (1999).
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C. Rockstuhl, F. Lederer, “Photon management by metallic nanodiscs in thin film solar cells,” Appl. Phys Lett. 94, 213102 (2009).
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E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. Royer, H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids 354(19), 2488–2491 (2008).
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H. Mizuno, H. Sai, K. Matsubara, M. Kondo, “Light trapping by Ag nanoparticles chemically assembled inside thin-film hydrogenated microcrystalline Si solar cells,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 51, 042302 (2012).
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D. Sainju, P. van den Oever, N. Podraza, M. Syed, J. Stoke, J. Chen, X. Yang, X. Deng, R. Collins, “Origin of optical losses in Ag/ZnO back-reflectors for thin film Si photovoltaics,” in Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Conference Record of the 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on2, 1732–1735 (2006).

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Santbergen, R.

H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. Smets, M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 12(8), 4070–4076 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Santbergen, T. Temple, R. Liang, A. Smets, R. Swaaij, M. Zeman, “Application of plasmonic silver island films in thin-film silicon solar cells,” J. Opt. 14, 024010 (2012).
[CrossRef]

R. Santbergen, R. Liang, M. Zeman, “Amorphous silicon solar cells with silver nanoparticles embedded inside the absorber layer,” Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings1245. Cambridge Univ Press (2010).

Savu, V.

C. Pahud, V. Savu, M. Klein, O. Vazquez-Mena, J. Brugger, C. Ballif, “Stencil-nanopatterned back reflectors for thin-film amorphous silicon n-i-p solar cells,” IEEE J. Photovolt. 3(1), 22–26, (2013).
[CrossRef]

M. Klein, F. Montagne, N. Blondiaux, O. Vazquez-Mena, H. Heinzelmann, R. Pugin, J. Brugger, V. Savu, “SiN membranes with submicrometer hole arrays patterned by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 29(2), 012–021 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Scharf, T.

Schatz, G.

K. Kelly, E. Coronado, L. Zhao, G. Schatz, “The optical properties of metal nanoparticles: the influence of size, shape, and dielectric environment,” J. Phys. Chem. B 107(3), 668–677 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Schock, H.

O. Kluth, B. Rech, L. Houben, S. Wieder, G. Schöpe, C. Beneking, H. Wagner, A. Löffl, H. Schock, “Texture etched ZnO: Al coated glass substrates for silicon based thin film solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 351(1), 247–253 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Schöpe, G.

O. Kluth, B. Rech, L. Houben, S. Wieder, G. Schöpe, C. Beneking, H. Wagner, A. Löffl, H. Schock, “Texture etched ZnO: Al coated glass substrates for silicon based thin film solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 351(1), 247–253 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Smets, A.

R. Santbergen, T. Temple, R. Liang, A. Smets, R. Swaaij, M. Zeman, “Application of plasmonic silver island films in thin-film silicon solar cells,” J. Opt. 14, 024010 (2012).
[CrossRef]

H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. Smets, M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 12(8), 4070–4076 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Smole, F.

Z. Holman, M. Filipic, A. Descoeudres, S. De Wolf, F. Smole, M. Topic, C. Ballif, “Infrared light management in high-efficiency silicon heterojunction and rear-passivated solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 113, 013107 (2013).
[CrossRef]

Söderström, K.

A. Naqavi, K. Söderström, F. Haug, V. Paeder, T. Scharf, H. Herzig, C. Ballif, “Understanding of photocurrent enhancement in real thin film solar cells: towards optimal one-dimensional gratings,” Opt. Express 19(1), 128–140 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. Söderström, F. Haug, J. Escarré, C. Pahud, R. Biron, C. Ballif, “Highly reflective nanotextured sputtered silver back reflector for flexible high-efficiency n–i–p thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 95(12), 3585–3591 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Solntsev, S.

O. Isabella, S. Solntsev, D. Caratelli, M. Zeman, “3-D optical modeling of thin-film silicon solar cells on diffraction gratings,” Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 21(1), 94–108 (2013).
[CrossRef]

Soppa, W.

O. Isabella, A. Campa, M. Heijna, W. Soppa, R. van Ervan, R. Franken, H. Borg, M. Zeman, “Diffraction gratings for light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Conference Record of the 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference2320–2324 (2008).

Steinhauser, J.

S. Fay, J. Steinhauser, S. Nicolay, C. Ballif, “Polycrystalline ZnO: B grown by LPCVD as TCO for thin film silicon solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 518(11), 2961–2966 (2010).
[CrossRef]

S. Benagli, D. Borello, E. Vallat-Sauvain, J. Meier, U. Kroll, J. Hoetzel, J. Bailat, J. Steinhauser, M. Marmelo, G. Monteduro, L. Castens, “High efficiency amorphous silicon devices on LP-CVD-ZnO TCO prepared in industrial KAI R&D reactor,” Conference Record 23th EU-PVSEC 3BO.9.3 (2009).

Stiebig, H.

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. Royer, H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids 354(19), 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef]

C. Haase, H. Stiebig, “Thin-film silicon solar cells with efficient periodic light trapping texture,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 061116 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Stoke, J.

D. Sainju, P. van den Oever, N. Podraza, M. Syed, J. Stoke, J. Chen, X. Yang, X. Deng, R. Collins, “Origin of optical losses in Ag/ZnO back-reflectors for thin film Si photovoltaics,” in Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Conference Record of the 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on2, 1732–1735 (2006).

Stuart, H.R.

H.R. Stuart, D.G. Hall, “Absorption enhancement in silicononinsulator waveguides using metal island films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 69, 2337 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Stutzmann, M.

C. Eisele, C. Nebel, M. Stutzmann, “Periodic light coupler gratings in amorphous thin film solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 89, 7722 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Sukmanowski, J.

E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. Royer, H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids 354(19), 2488–2491 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Swaaij, R.

R. Santbergen, T. Temple, R. Liang, A. Smets, R. Swaaij, M. Zeman, “Application of plasmonic silver island films in thin-film silicon solar cells,” J. Opt. 14, 024010 (2012).
[CrossRef]

Swalen, J.

F. Parmigiani, E. Kay, T. Huang, J. Perrin, M. Jurich, J. Swalen, “Optical and electrical properties of thin silver films grown under ion bombardment,” Phys. Rev. B 33(2), 879 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Syed, M.

D. Sainju, P. van den Oever, N. Podraza, M. Syed, J. Stoke, J. Chen, X. Yang, X. Deng, R. Collins, “Origin of optical losses in Ag/ZnO back-reflectors for thin film Si photovoltaics,” in Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Conference Record of the 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on2, 1732–1735 (2006).

Tan, H.

H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. Smets, M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 12(8), 4070–4076 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Temple, T.

R. Santbergen, T. Temple, R. Liang, A. Smets, R. Swaaij, M. Zeman, “Application of plasmonic silver island films in thin-film silicon solar cells,” J. Opt. 14, 024010 (2012).
[CrossRef]

Tong, L.

O. El Daifa, L. Tong, B. Figeys, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, A. Dmitriev, P. Van Dorpe, I. Gordon, F. Dross, “Front side plasmonic effect on thin silicon epitaxial solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 104, 58–63 (2012).
[CrossRef]

Topic, M.

Z. Holman, M. Filipic, A. Descoeudres, S. De Wolf, F. Smole, M. Topic, C. Ballif, “Infrared light management in high-efficiency silicon heterojunction and rear-passivated solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 113, 013107 (2013).
[CrossRef]

Tsai, F.

Vallat-Sauvain, E.

S. Benagli, D. Borello, E. Vallat-Sauvain, J. Meier, U. Kroll, J. Hoetzel, J. Bailat, J. Steinhauser, M. Marmelo, G. Monteduro, L. Castens, “High efficiency amorphous silicon devices on LP-CVD-ZnO TCO prepared in industrial KAI R&D reactor,” Conference Record 23th EU-PVSEC 3BO.9.3 (2009).

van den Oever, P.

D. Sainju, P. van den Oever, N. Podraza, M. Syed, J. Stoke, J. Chen, X. Yang, X. Deng, R. Collins, “Origin of optical losses in Ag/ZnO back-reflectors for thin film Si photovoltaics,” in Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Conference Record of the 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on2, 1732–1735 (2006).

Van Dorpe, P.

O. El Daifa, L. Tong, B. Figeys, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, A. Dmitriev, P. Van Dorpe, I. Gordon, F. Dross, “Front side plasmonic effect on thin silicon epitaxial solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 104, 58–63 (2012).
[CrossRef]

van Ervan, R.

O. Isabella, A. Campa, M. Heijna, W. Soppa, R. van Ervan, R. Franken, H. Borg, M. Zeman, “Diffraction gratings for light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Conference Record of the 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference2320–2324 (2008).

Van Nieuwenhuysen, K.

O. El Daifa, L. Tong, B. Figeys, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, A. Dmitriev, P. Van Dorpe, I. Gordon, F. Dross, “Front side plasmonic effect on thin silicon epitaxial solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 104, 58–63 (2012).
[CrossRef]

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C. Pahud, V. Savu, M. Klein, O. Vazquez-Mena, J. Brugger, C. Ballif, “Stencil-nanopatterned back reflectors for thin-film amorphous silicon n-i-p solar cells,” IEEE J. Photovolt. 3(1), 22–26, (2013).
[CrossRef]

O. Vazquez-Mena, T. Sannomiya, L. Villanueva, J. Voros, J. Brugger, “Metallic nanodot arrays by stencil lithography for plasmonic biosensing applications,” ACS Nano 5(2), 844–853 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Klein, F. Montagne, N. Blondiaux, O. Vazquez-Mena, H. Heinzelmann, R. Pugin, J. Brugger, V. Savu, “SiN membranes with submicrometer hole arrays patterned by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 29(2), 012–021 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Villanueva, L.

O. Vazquez-Mena, T. Sannomiya, L. Villanueva, J. Voros, J. Brugger, “Metallic nanodot arrays by stencil lithography for plasmonic biosensing applications,” ACS Nano 5(2), 844–853 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Voros, J.

O. Vazquez-Mena, T. Sannomiya, L. Villanueva, J. Voros, J. Brugger, “Metallic nanodot arrays by stencil lithography for plasmonic biosensing applications,” ACS Nano 5(2), 844–853 (2011).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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O. Kluth, B. Rech, L. Houben, S. Wieder, G. Schöpe, C. Beneking, H. Wagner, A. Löffl, H. Schock, “Texture etched ZnO: Al coated glass substrates for silicon based thin film solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 351(1), 247–253 (1999).
[CrossRef]

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Wieder, S.

O. Kluth, B. Rech, L. Houben, S. Wieder, G. Schöpe, C. Beneking, H. Wagner, A. Löffl, H. Schock, “Texture etched ZnO: Al coated glass substrates for silicon based thin film solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 351(1), 247–253 (1999).
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H. Deckman, C. Wronski, H. Witzke, E. Yablonovitch, “Optically enhanced amorphous silicon solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 42(11), 968–970 (1983).
[CrossRef]

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H. Deckman, C. Wronski, H. Witzke, E. Yablonovitch, “Optically enhanced amorphous silicon solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 42(11), 968–970 (1983).
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S. Guha, J. Yang, “Progress in amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon solar cells,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids 352, 1917–1921 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. Yang, A. Banerjee, S. Guha, “Triple-junction amorphous silicon alloy solar cell with 14.6% initial and 13.0% stable conversion efficiencies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 70(22), 2975–2977 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Yang, X.

D. Sainju, P. van den Oever, N. Podraza, M. Syed, J. Stoke, J. Chen, X. Yang, X. Deng, R. Collins, “Origin of optical losses in Ag/ZnO back-reflectors for thin film Si photovoltaics,” in Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Conference Record of the 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on2, 1732–1735 (2006).

Yu, Z.

Z. Yu, A. Raman, S. Fan, “Thermodynamic upper bound on broadband light coupling with photonic structures,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109(17), 173901 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Zeman, M.

O. Isabella, S. Solntsev, D. Caratelli, M. Zeman, “3-D optical modeling of thin-film silicon solar cells on diffraction gratings,” Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 21(1), 94–108 (2013).
[CrossRef]

H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. Smets, M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 12(8), 4070–4076 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Santbergen, T. Temple, R. Liang, A. Smets, R. Swaaij, M. Zeman, “Application of plasmonic silver island films in thin-film silicon solar cells,” J. Opt. 14, 024010 (2012).
[CrossRef]

R. Santbergen, R. Liang, M. Zeman, “Amorphous silicon solar cells with silver nanoparticles embedded inside the absorber layer,” Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings1245. Cambridge Univ Press (2010).

O. Isabella, A. Campa, M. Heijna, W. Soppa, R. van Ervan, R. Franken, H. Borg, M. Zeman, “Diffraction gratings for light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Conference Record of the 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference2320–2324 (2008).

Zhao, L.

K. Kelly, E. Coronado, L. Zhao, G. Schatz, “The optical properties of metal nanoparticles: the influence of size, shape, and dielectric environment,” J. Phys. Chem. B 107(3), 668–677 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Zhou, D.

R. Biswas, D. Zhou, “Simulation and modelling of photonic and plasmonic crystal back reflectors for efficient light trapping,” Phys. Status Solidi A. 207(3), 667–670 (2010).
[CrossRef]

ACS Nano

V. Ferry, A. Polman, H. Atwater, “Modeling light-trapping in nanostructured solar cells,” ACS Nano 5(12), 10055–10064 (2011).
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O. Vazquez-Mena, T. Sannomiya, L. Villanueva, J. Voros, J. Brugger, “Metallic nanodot arrays by stencil lithography for plasmonic biosensing applications,” ACS Nano 5(2), 844–853 (2011).
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J. Yang, A. Banerjee, S. Guha, “Triple-junction amorphous silicon alloy solar cell with 14.6% initial and 13.0% stable conversion efficiencies,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 70(22), 2975–2977 (1997).
[CrossRef]

C. Haase, H. Stiebig, “Thin-film silicon solar cells with efficient periodic light trapping texture,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 061116 (2007).
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A. Naqavi, F. Haug, C. Ballif, T. Scharf, H. Herzig, “Limit of light coupling strength in solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 102(13), 1113 (2013).
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C. Eisele, C. Nebel, M. Stutzmann, “Periodic light coupler gratings in amorphous thin film solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 89, 7722 (2001).
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Z. Holman, M. Filipic, A. Descoeudres, S. De Wolf, F. Smole, M. Topic, C. Ballif, “Infrared light management in high-efficiency silicon heterojunction and rear-passivated solar cells,” J. Appl. Phys. 113, 013107 (2013).
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D. Nash, J. Sambles, “Surface plasmon-polariton study of the optical dielectric function of silver,” J. Mod. Opt. 43(1), 81–91 (1996).

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S. Guha, J. Yang, “Progress in amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon solar cells,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids 352, 1917–1921 (2006).
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E. Moulin, J. Sukmanowski, P. Luo, R. Carius, F. Royer, H. Stiebig, “Improved light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells by integration of silver nanoparticles,” J. Non-Cryst. Solids 354(19), 2488–2491 (2008).
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J. Opt.

R. Santbergen, T. Temple, R. Liang, A. Smets, R. Swaaij, M. Zeman, “Application of plasmonic silver island films in thin-film silicon solar cells,” J. Opt. 14, 024010 (2012).
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J. Photon. Energy

U. Paetzold, E. Moulin, B. Pieters, U. Rau, R. Carius, “Optical simulations of microcrystalline silicon solar cells applying plasmonic reflection grating back contacts,” J. Photon. Energy 2(1), 027002 (2012).
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K. Kelly, E. Coronado, L. Zhao, G. Schatz, “The optical properties of metal nanoparticles: the influence of size, shape, and dielectric environment,” J. Phys. Chem. B 107(3), 668–677 (2003).
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J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B

M. Klein, F. Montagne, N. Blondiaux, O. Vazquez-Mena, H. Heinzelmann, R. Pugin, J. Brugger, V. Savu, “SiN membranes with submicrometer hole arrays patterned by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 29(2), 012–021 (2011).
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H. Tan, R. Santbergen, A. Smets, M. Zeman, “Plasmonic light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells with improved self-assembled silver nanoparticles,” Nano Lett. 12(8), 4070–4076 (2012).
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H. Atwater, A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nature Mater. 9(3), 205–213, (2010).
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R. Biswas, D. Zhou, “Simulation and modelling of photonic and plasmonic crystal back reflectors for efficient light trapping,” Phys. Status Solidi A. 207(3), 667–670 (2010).
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O. El Daifa, L. Tong, B. Figeys, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, A. Dmitriev, P. Van Dorpe, I. Gordon, F. Dross, “Front side plasmonic effect on thin silicon epitaxial solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 104, 58–63 (2012).
[CrossRef]

K. Söderström, F. Haug, J. Escarré, C. Pahud, R. Biron, C. Ballif, “Highly reflective nanotextured sputtered silver back reflector for flexible high-efficiency n–i–p thin-film silicon solar cells,” Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 95(12), 3585–3591 (2011).
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[CrossRef]

S. Fay, J. Steinhauser, S. Nicolay, C. Ballif, “Polycrystalline ZnO: B grown by LPCVD as TCO for thin film silicon solar cells,” Thin Solid Films 518(11), 2961–2966 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Other

S. Benagli, D. Borello, E. Vallat-Sauvain, J. Meier, U. Kroll, J. Hoetzel, J. Bailat, J. Steinhauser, M. Marmelo, G. Monteduro, L. Castens, “High efficiency amorphous silicon devices on LP-CVD-ZnO TCO prepared in industrial KAI R&D reactor,” Conference Record 23th EU-PVSEC 3BO.9.3 (2009).

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http://www.ansys.com .

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O. Isabella, A. Campa, M. Heijna, W. Soppa, R. van Ervan, R. Franken, H. Borg, M. Zeman, “Diffraction gratings for light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells,” Conference Record of the 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference2320–2324 (2008).

D. Sainju, P. van den Oever, N. Podraza, M. Syed, J. Stoke, J. Chen, X. Yang, X. Deng, R. Collins, “Origin of optical losses in Ag/ZnO back-reflectors for thin film Si photovoltaics,” in Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Conference Record of the 2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on2, 1732–1735 (2006).

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Modelling domain used for the HFSS optical simulation. (a) Nanoparticles reflector with nanoparticles embedded in ZnO. (b) Grating reflector with nanoparticles in contact with the silver (Ag) layer. The silver nanoparticles are modelled as circular discs (light grey). The reminder of the cell-stack is identical in both configurations.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Simulated and experimental EQEs of n-i-p a-Si:H solar cells deposited on the nanoparticles (a) and on the grating (b) reflectors, assuming different silver datasets. Large and small symbols represent the experimental EQEs and the enhancements with respect to a flat reference, respectively.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Real and imaginary parts of the permittivity tabulated for silver. The uppermost curve corresponds to the data of Palik with the addition of a Lorentzian resonance at 1.95 eV. Note the logarithmic scale to the right for the imaginary part.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Simulated and experimental EQEs for the nanoparticles (a) and the grating (b) reflectors, assuming cylindric (dashed-dotted lines) and conic (full lines) nanoparticles. In both panels, the lower part shows the absorption in the particles.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Change of the EQE due to deviation of nanoparticle shape from circular to oval in the simulation. Dashed-dotted, dashed and full lines represent eccentricities of 0, 0.3 and 0.4, and the thick line gives their average. Circles and squares denote again the nanoparticles and the grating reflector, respectively.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

SEM image cross section of a-Si:H solar cells deposited on the nanoparticles (a) and the grating reflectors (b). The silver nanoparticles in the nanoparticles reflector are composed of small silver grains due to their nucleation on the ZnO film while the silver grains can resume their growth in the grating reflector.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table 1 Short-circuit current densities for n-i-p cells on the nanoparticles and grating reflectors, using different dielectric data for the silver nanoparticles. Values in parentheses are obtained by suppressing the sharp resonances around 700 nm. The last line gives the experimental results [26].

Equations (1)

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χ ( ω ) = A Ω 2 Ω 2 ω 2 i Γ ω

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