Plasmonic versus dielectric enhancement in thin-film solar cells

Maria Bayard Dühring, N. Asger Mortensen, Ole Sigmund

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    Several studies have indicated that broadband absorption of thin-film solar cells can be enhanced by use of surface-plasmon induced resonances of metallic parts like strips or particles. The metallic parts may create localized modes or scatter incoming light to increase absorption in thin-film semiconducting material. For a particular case, we show that coupling to the same type of localized slab-waveguide modes can be obtained by a surface modulation consisting of purely dielectric strips. The purely dielectric device turns out to have a significantly higher broadband enhancement factor compared to its metallic counterpart. We show that the enhanced normalized short-circuit current for a cell with silicon strips can be increased 4 times compared to the best performance for strips of silver, gold, or aluminium. For this particular case, the simple dielectric grating may outperform its plasmonic counterpart due to the larger Ohmic losses associated with the latter.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied Physics Letters
    Issue number21
    Pages (from-to)211914
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    © 2012 American Institute of Physics.


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