Abstract

In this Letter, we experimentally show that a submicron layer of a transparent conducting oxide that may serve a top electrode of a photovoltaic cell based on amorphous silicon when properly patterned by notches becomes an efficient light-trapping structure. This is so for amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells with properly chosen thicknesses of the active layers (p-i-n structure with optimal thicknesses of intrinsic and doped layers). The nanopatterned layer of transparent conducting oxide reduces both the light reflectance from the photovoltaic cell and transmittance through the photovoltaic layers for normal incidence and for all incidence angles. We explain the physical mechanism of our light-trapping effect, prove that this mechanism is realized in our structure, and show that the nanopatterning is achievable in a rather easy and affordable way that makes our method of solar cell enhancement attractive for industrial adaptations.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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