Abstract

Light absorption by thin-film amorphous Si solar cells patterned with metallic nanogratings is investigated theoretically. Propagative bounded modes that include the surface plasmon polariton (SPP) and the photonic mode (PM) are extracted from the total field to quantitatively evaluate their contribution to the light absorption. Our results show that after removing the propagative bounded modes from the total field, the residual field still contributes to a major part of the total light absorption. This proves, at a quantitative level, that the light absorption of the structure is largely attributed to the residual field that is composed of unbounded or evanescent modes arising from the grating scattering, and the SPP and the PM do not play a dominant role, which is out of the previous intuitive expectations.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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