Abstract

In 1D photonic crystal Bragg structures, strong localization of the light occurs in the high refractive index layers at wavelengths on the red edge of the photonic bandgap. We exploit this slow light effect for thin film solar cells in order to increase the absorption of light in silicon, as the latter has a high refractive index. Amorphous silicon and a transparent conductive oxide are chosen as high-index and low-index materials, respectively. Reference thin film cells have equivalent total thickness of amorphous silicon, plus antireflection coating and optional metallic back mirror. Through transfer-matrix calculations, we demonstrate that the spectrally integrated photon flux absorbed in active layers, hence the photocurrent, is enhanced by at least 10% with respect to reference using only a few periods. The enhancement is robust with respect to the light incidence angle. The key of such an enhancement is the tuning of the red edge to both the solar irradiance spectrum and the intrinsic material absorption spectrum, which is achieved by suitably selecting the layer thicknesses.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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  1. S. Basu Mallick, N. P. Sergeant, M. Agrawal, J.-Y. Lee, and P. Peumans, MRS Bull. 36, 453 (2011)..
    [CrossRef]
  2. O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  3. S. Schaefer and R. Lüdemann, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 17, 749 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  4. J. D. Joannopoulos, R. D. Meade, and J. N. Winn, Photonic Crystals: Molding the Flow of Light (Princeton, 1995).
  5. I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  6. X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
    [CrossRef]
  7. P. Yeh, Optical Waves in Layered Media, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 2005).
  8. O. Deparis, Opt. Lett. 36, 3960 (2011).
    [CrossRef]
  9. M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).
  10. J. Poortmans and V. Arkhipov, Thin Film Solar Cells: Fabrication, Characterization and Applications (Wiley, 2006).

2011 (3)

S. Basu Mallick, N. P. Sergeant, M. Agrawal, J.-Y. Lee, and P. Peumans, MRS Bull. 36, 453 (2011)..
[CrossRef]

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. Deparis, Opt. Lett. 36, 3960 (2011).
[CrossRef]

2010 (1)

2008 (1)

I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
[CrossRef]

1999 (1)

S. Schaefer and R. Lüdemann, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 17, 749 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Abramov, A.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Agrawal, M.

S. Basu Mallick, N. P. Sergeant, M. Agrawal, J.-Y. Lee, and P. Peumans, MRS Bull. 36, 453 (2011)..
[CrossRef]

Ahn, S.

Arkhipov, V.

J. Poortmans and V. Arkhipov, Thin Film Solar Cells: Fabrication, Characterization and Applications (Wiley, 2006).

Basu Mallick, S.

S. Basu Mallick, N. P. Sergeant, M. Agrawal, J.-Y. Lee, and P. Peumans, MRS Bull. 36, 453 (2011)..
[CrossRef]

Beaucarne, G.

I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Della Noce, M.

M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).

Delli Veneri, P.

M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).

Deparis, O.

Drouard, E.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Duerinckx, F.

I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
[CrossRef]

El Daif, O.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Fave, A.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Gomard, G.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Izzi, M.

M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).

Jeon, H.

Joannopoulos, J. D.

J. D. Joannopoulos, R. D. Meade, and J. N. Winn, Photonic Crystals: Molding the Flow of Light (Princeton, 1995).

Kaminski, A.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Kim, S.

Kuzma-Filipek, I.

I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Lee, J.-Y.

S. Basu Mallick, N. P. Sergeant, M. Agrawal, J.-Y. Lee, and P. Peumans, MRS Bull. 36, 453 (2011)..
[CrossRef]

Lemiti, M.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Lüdemann, R.

S. Schaefer and R. Lüdemann, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 17, 749 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Meade, R. D.

J. D. Joannopoulos, R. D. Meade, and J. N. Winn, Photonic Crystals: Molding the Flow of Light (Princeton, 1995).

Meng, X.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Mercaldo, L. V.

M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).

Orobtchouk, R.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Peumans, P.

S. Basu Mallick, N. P. Sergeant, M. Agrawal, J.-Y. Lee, and P. Peumans, MRS Bull. 36, 453 (2011)..
[CrossRef]

Poortmans, J.

I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
[CrossRef]

J. Poortmans and V. Arkhipov, Thin Film Solar Cells: Fabrication, Characterization and Applications (Wiley, 2006).

Roca i Cabarrocas, P.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Schaefer, S.

S. Schaefer and R. Lüdemann, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 17, 749 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Seassal, C.

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

O. El Daif, E. Drouard, G. Gomard, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, S. Ahn, S. Kim, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, H. Jeon, and C. Seassal, Opt. Express 18, A293 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Serenelli, L.

M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).

Sergeant, N. P.

S. Basu Mallick, N. P. Sergeant, M. Agrawal, J.-Y. Lee, and P. Peumans, MRS Bull. 36, 453 (2011)..
[CrossRef]

Tucci, M.

M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).

Usatii, I.

M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).

Van Kerschaver, E.

I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Van Nieuwenhuysen, K.

I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Winn, J. N.

J. D. Joannopoulos, R. D. Meade, and J. N. Winn, Photonic Crystals: Molding the Flow of Light (Princeton, 1995).

Yeh, P.

P. Yeh, Optical Waves in Layered Media, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 2005).

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

I. Kuzma-Filipek, F. Duerinckx, E. Van Kerschaver, K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, G. Beaucarne, and J. Poortmans, J. Appl. Phys. 104, 073529 (2008).
[CrossRef]

J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A (1)

S. Schaefer and R. Lüdemann, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 17, 749 (1999).
[CrossRef]

MRS Bull. (1)

S. Basu Mallick, N. P. Sergeant, M. Agrawal, J.-Y. Lee, and P. Peumans, MRS Bull. 36, 453 (2011)..
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (1)

Opt. Lett. (1)

Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells (1)

X. Meng, G. Gomard, O. El Daif, E. Drouard, R. Orobtchouk, A. Kaminski, A. Fave, M. Lemiti, A. Abramov, P. Roca i Cabarrocas, and C. Seassal, Solar Energy Mater. Solar Cells 95, S32 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Other (4)

P. Yeh, Optical Waves in Layered Media, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 2005).

M. Izzi, L. Serenelli, M. Tucci, M. Della Noce, I. Usatii, L. V. Mercaldo, and P. Delli Veneri, in Photovoltaic Technical Conference (ARCSIS, 2012).

J. Poortmans and V. Arkhipov, Thin Film Solar Cells: Fabrication, Characterization and Applications (Wiley, 2006).

J. D. Joannopoulos, R. D. Meade, and J. N. Winn, Photonic Crystals: Molding the Flow of Light (Princeton, 1995).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

DBR (left, center) and reference (right) solar cells. The DBR consists of a periodic stack of N planar bilayers made of a-si (thickness: da) and TCO (thickness: do). The layer in contact with the incidence medium (air) could be either an a-si layer (left) or a TCO layer (center). Thickness of reference cell is da,ref=N×da.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Maps of the photocurrent enhancement ΔJ (calculated at θ=0°) as function of a-si and TCO layer thicknesses, for (a) a-Si/TCO and (b) TCO/a-Si DBR solar cells with N=9 and 3 periods, respectively. Optimal thickness values are indicated by white crosses. (c) Photocurrent as function of the number of periods in optimized DBR cells and reference cells. (d) Photocurrent as function of the incidence angle in optimized DBR cells and reference cells.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Reflectance (R) and absorption (A) spectra (at θ=0°) of 3 periods TCO/a-Si DBR solar cells with (a) optimal and (b) nonoptimal thicknesses: da=8nm, do=65nm; and da=18nm, do=90nm, respectively. Reflectance spectra of fictive (nonabsorbing) DBRs are shown as well as the positions of the PBG red edge (indicated by arrows). Absorption spectra of reference cells are shown for comparison (da,ref=3×8nm, do,ref=54nm and da,ref=3×18nm, do,ref=50nm, respectively).

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

(a) Photocurrent optimization map for a 6-period ITO/a-Si DBR solar cell (optimal thickness values are indicated by a white cross). Photocurrent as function of the (b) number of periods and (c) incidence angle in optimized DBR cell and reference cell. Absorption and reflectance spectra in optimized DBR (N=6). Absorption spectrum in reference cell and reflectance spectrum in fictive (nonabsorbing) DBR are also shown. Position of the PBG red edge is indicated by an arrow.

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