Absorption enhancement in metal nanoparticles for photoemission current for solar cells

Publication: Research - peer-reviewConference article – Annual report year: 2012

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In order to improve the photoconversion efficiency, we consider the possibility of increasing the photocurrent in solar cells exploiting the electron photoemission from small metal nanoparticles into a semiconductor. The effect is caused by the absorption of photons and generation of local surface plasmons in the nanoparticles with optimized geometry. An electron photoemission from metal into semiconductor occurs if photon energy is larger than Schottky barrier at the metal-semiconductor interface. The photocurrent resulting from the absorption of photons with energy below the bandgap of the semiconductor added to the solar cell photocurrent can extend spectral response range of the device. We study the effect on a model system, which is a Schottky barrier n-GaAs solar cell, with an array of Au nanoparticles positioned at the interface between the semiconductor and the transparent top electrode. Based on the simulations, we chose to study disk-shaped Au nanoparticles with sizes ranging from 25nm to 50nm using electron beam lithography. Optical characterization of the fabricated devices shows the presence of LSP resonance around the wavelength of 1250nm, below the bandgap of GaAs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)84380K
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2012
EventSPIE Photonics Europe : Photonics for Solar Energy Systems IV - Brussels, Belgium


ConferenceSPIE Photonics Europe : Photonics for Solar Energy Systems IV
LocationThe Square Conference Center
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 0


  • Gold nanoparticles, Photovoltaics, Surface plasmons, Schottky diode, Transmission, Electron beam lithography, PMMA
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ID: 8168855