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.
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