A recent Optics Express paper by Soo Jin Kim et al., shows that using a V-trap cell configuration for light trapping improves photon absorption in an optimized organic photovoltaic solar cell. The team explored both theoretically and experimentally what the benefits are for using a V-trap configuration for a thin film polymer cell that has already been optimized for maximum overall power conversion efficiency over a broad spectrum (400 to 700nm). The theoretical model analyzes both the angle of the V-grove and angle of incidence of the incoming light. They experimentally demonstrated the robustness of their model, and reached a 35% increase in the power conversion efficiency of a cell with a 30 degree V-trap configuration compared to a planar cell geometry.
The paper concludes that the V-trap configuration provides the most benefit by improving the absorption of photons that are normally only weakly absorbed. This broadens the effective absorption spectrum compared to the same cell used in a flat geometry. It also helps to explain how a V-trap configuration still provides a substantial efficiency boost for a solar cell that is already highly optimized for a broad absorption spectrum. The authors have presented a comprehensive analysis that illustrates the benefits light trapping independent of active materials used.
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