Abstract

The effect of absorption enhancement with metallic nanoparticles on solar cell surfaces is often confused with various optical processes. In this work, the effective absorption rates in the active materials of solar cells are explicitly calculated including all possible factors. The results show that, although the total absorption is highly enhanced in general, the effective absorption in the active region is not much enhanced and even strongly reduced in the blue–violet regime. As the solar spectrum is considered, the integrated absorbed power in the solar cell materials is shown to be similar for structures with or without metallic nanoparticles.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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  1. M. A. Green, in Advances in Solar Energy (1993), Vol. 8, p. 231.
  2. L. Hu and G. Chen, Nano Lett. 7, 3249 (2007).
    [CrossRef]
  3. P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 113108 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  4. H. R. Stuart and D. G. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 3815 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  5. D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 063106 (2005).
    [CrossRef]
  6. S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, J. Appl. Phys. 101, 093105 (2007).
    [CrossRef]
  7. K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 121904 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  8. D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  9. F. J. Beck, A. Polman, and K. R. Catchpole, J. Appl. Phys. 105, 114310 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  10. S. Wu, W. Wang, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, J. Nanophoton. 4, 043515 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  11. Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, Plasmonics 6, 155 (2011).
    [CrossRef]
  12. D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006).
    [CrossRef]
  13. M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Lüth, and D. Meissner, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61, 97 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  14. K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 191113 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  15. Y. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, Plasmonics 4, 107 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  16. Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, and K. Ostrikov, Opt. Express 17, 10195 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  17. J. R. Nagel and M. A. Scarpulla, Opt. Express 18, A139 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  18. Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 073111 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  19. L. Yang, Y. Xuan, and J. Tan, Opt. Express 19, A1165 (2011).
    [CrossRef]
  20. E. D. Palik, Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids(Academic, 1998).
  21. C. F. Bohren and D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (Wiley–Interscience, 1983).
  22. K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Opt. Express 16, 21793 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  23. J. Hao, L. Zhou, and M. Qiu, Phys. Rev. B 83, 165107 (2011).
    [CrossRef]
  24. R. Ruppin, Phys. Lett. A 299, 309 (2002).
    [CrossRef]

2011 (3)

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, Plasmonics 6, 155 (2011).
[CrossRef]

J. Hao, L. Zhou, and M. Qiu, Phys. Rev. B 83, 165107 (2011).
[CrossRef]

L. Yang, Y. Xuan, and J. Tan, Opt. Express 19, A1165 (2011).
[CrossRef]

2010 (3)

J. R. Nagel and M. A. Scarpulla, Opt. Express 18, A139 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

S. Wu, W. Wang, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, J. Nanophoton. 4, 043515 (2010).
[CrossRef]

2009 (3)

Y. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, Plasmonics 4, 107 (2009).
[CrossRef]

F. J. Beck, A. Polman, and K. R. Catchpole, J. Appl. Phys. 105, 114310 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, and K. Ostrikov, Opt. Express 17, 10195 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2008 (5)

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Opt. Express 16, 21793 (2008).
[CrossRef]

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 191113 (2008).
[CrossRef]

2007 (2)

L. Hu and G. Chen, Nano Lett. 7, 3249 (2007).
[CrossRef]

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, J. Appl. Phys. 101, 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

2006 (1)

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2005 (1)

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

2002 (1)

R. Ruppin, Phys. Lett. A 299, 309 (2002).
[CrossRef]

2000 (1)

M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Lüth, and D. Meissner, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61, 97 (2000).
[CrossRef]

1998 (1)

H. R. Stuart and D. G. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 3815 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Akimov, Y. A.

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, Plasmonics 6, 155 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, Plasmonics 4, 107 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, and K. Ostrikov, Opt. Express 17, 10195 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Atwater, H. A.

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Beck, F. J.

F. J. Beck, A. Polman, and K. R. Catchpole, J. Appl. Phys. 105, 114310 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Bohren, C. F.

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

Catchpole, K. R.

F. J. Beck, A. Polman, and K. R. Catchpole, J. Appl. Phys. 105, 114310 (2009).
[CrossRef]

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Opt. Express 16, 21793 (2008).
[CrossRef]

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 191113 (2008).
[CrossRef]

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, J. Appl. Phys. 101, 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Chen, G.

L. Hu and G. Chen, Nano Lett. 7, 3249 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Chen, S.

S. Wu, W. Wang, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, J. Nanophoton. 4, 043515 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Chen, W. V.

D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Derkacs, D.

D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Feng, B.

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Green, M. A.

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, J. Appl. Phys. 101, 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

M. A. Green, in Advances in Solar Energy (1993), Vol. 8, p. 231.

Hall, D. G.

H. R. Stuart and D. G. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 3815 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Hao, J.

J. Hao, L. Zhou, and M. Qiu, Phys. Rev. B 83, 165107 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Hu, L.

L. Hu and G. Chen, Nano Lett. 7, 3249 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Huffman, D. R.

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

Koh, W. S.

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, Plasmonics 6, 155 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, and K. Ostrikov, Opt. Express 17, 10195 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Kreibig, U.

M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Lüth, and D. Meissner, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61, 97 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Li, E. P.

Y. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, Plasmonics 4, 107 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Lim, S. H.

D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Lu, Y.

S. Wu, W. Wang, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, J. Nanophoton. 4, 043515 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Lüth, H.

M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Lüth, and D. Meissner, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61, 97 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Mar, W.

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Matheu, P.

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Matheu, P. M.

D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
[CrossRef]

McPheeters, C.

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Meissner, D.

M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Lüth, and D. Meissner, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61, 97 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Nagel, J. R.

Nakayama, K.

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Ostrikov, K.

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, and K. Ostrikov, Opt. Express 17, 10195 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, Plasmonics 4, 107 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Pillai, S.

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, J. Appl. Phys. 101, 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Polman, A.

F. J. Beck, A. Polman, and K. R. Catchpole, J. Appl. Phys. 105, 114310 (2009).
[CrossRef]

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Opt. Express 16, 21793 (2008).
[CrossRef]

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 191113 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Qiu, M.

J. Hao, L. Zhou, and M. Qiu, Phys. Rev. B 83, 165107 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Reinhardt, K.

S. Wu, W. Wang, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, J. Nanophoton. 4, 043515 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Ren, S.

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Rostalski, J.

M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Lüth, and D. Meissner, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61, 97 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Ruppin, R.

R. Ruppin, Phys. Lett. A 299, 309 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Scarpulla, M. A.

Schaadt, D. M.

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Sian, S. Y.

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Stuart, H. R.

H. R. Stuart and D. G. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 3815 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Tan, J.

Tanabe, K.

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Trupke, T.

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, J. Appl. Phys. 101, 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Wang, W.

S. Wu, W. Wang, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, J. Nanophoton. 4, 043515 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Westphalen, M.

M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Lüth, and D. Meissner, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61, 97 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Wu, S.

S. Wu, W. Wang, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, J. Nanophoton. 4, 043515 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Xuan, Y.

Yang, L.

Yu, E. T.

D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Yu, P. K. L.

D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Zhou, L.

J. Hao, L. Zhou, and M. Qiu, Phys. Rev. B 83, 165107 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (8)

P. Matheu, S. H. Lim, D. Derkacs, C. McPheeters, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 113108 (2008).
[CrossRef]

H. R. Stuart and D. G. Hall, Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 3815 (1998).
[CrossRef]

D. M. Schaadt, B. Feng, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 063106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

K. Nakayama, K. Tanabe, and H. A. Atwater, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 121904 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, W. V. Chen, P. M. Matheu, S. H. Lim, P. K. L. Yu, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 091107 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006).
[CrossRef]

K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 191113 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov, W. S. Koh, S. Y. Sian, and S. Ren, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 073111 (2010).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (2)

F. J. Beck, A. Polman, and K. R. Catchpole, J. Appl. Phys. 105, 114310 (2009).
[CrossRef]

S. Pillai, K. R. Catchpole, T. Trupke, and M. A. Green, J. Appl. Phys. 101, 093105 (2007).
[CrossRef]

J. Nanophoton. (1)

S. Wu, W. Wang, K. Reinhardt, Y. Lu, and S. Chen, J. Nanophoton. 4, 043515 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Nano Lett. (1)

L. Hu and G. Chen, Nano Lett. 7, 3249 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (4)

Phys. Lett. A (1)

R. Ruppin, Phys. Lett. A 299, 309 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. B (1)

J. Hao, L. Zhou, and M. Qiu, Phys. Rev. B 83, 165107 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Plasmonics (2)

Y. A. Akimov, K. Ostrikov, and E. P. Li, Plasmonics 4, 107 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. A. Akimov and W. S. Koh, Plasmonics 6, 155 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells (1)

M. Westphalen, U. Kreibig, J. Rostalski, H. Lüth, and D. Meissner, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 61, 97 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Other (3)

M. A. Green, in Advances in Solar Energy (1993), Vol. 8, p. 231.

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

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

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

(a), (b) Refractive indices (n+ik) of c-Si, a-Si, Si3N4 and permittivities (ε) of Ag and Au used in the calculations. (c), (d) References of the scattering and absorption efficiencies of single Ag and Au NPs of different sizes in an air ambient.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Rates of total absorption (dash lines) and absorption in the 250 nm thick a-Si layer (solid lines) for the Ag-NP/a-Si/Ag SC structures. (a) and (b) show the effects of distribution period and size of the Ag NPs. The absorption rates in a-Si for the structure with a bare surface or a 60 nm thick Si3N4 antireflection layer are also shown for comparison.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Rates of total absorption (dash lines) and absorption in the semi-infinite c-Si region (solid lines) for the Ag-NP/c-Si SC structures. The absorption rates in c-Si for the structure with a bare surface or a 60 nm thick Si3N4 AF layer are also shown for comparison.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Integrated absorbed power in the active region (a-Si or c-Si) of the SC structures (in Figs. 2 and 3) under illumination of light with solar spectrum (AM1.5).

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