Abstract

We systematically investigate the design of two-dimensional silver (Ag) hemisphere arrays on crystalline silicon (c-Si) ultrathin film solar cells for plasmonic light trapping. The absorption in ultrathin films is governed by the excitation of Fabry–Perot TEMm modes. We demonstrate that metal hemispheres can enhance absorption in the films by (1) coupling light to c-Si film waveguide modes and (2) exciting localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs). We show that hemisphere arrays allow light to couple to fundamental TEm and TMm waveguide modes in c-Si film as well as higher-order versions of these modes. The near-field light concentration of LSPRs also may increase absorption in the c-Si film, though these resonances are associated with significant parasitic absorption in the metal. We illustrate how Ag plasmonic hemispheres may be utilized for light trapping with 22% enhancement in short-circuit current density compared with that of a bare 100 nm thick c-Si ultrathin film solar cell.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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