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Journal of Photonics for Energy

Simultaneous optical and electrical modeling of plasmonic light trapping in thin-film amorphous silicon photovoltaic devices
Author(s): Keyur K. Gandhi; Ahmed Nejim; Michail J. Beliatis; Christopher A. Mills; Simon J. Henley; S. Ravi P. Silva
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Paper Abstract

Rapid prototyping of photovoltaic (PV) cells requires a method for the simultaneous simulation of the optical and electrical characteristics of the device. The development of nanomaterial-enabled PV cells only increases the complexity of such simulations. Here, we use a commercial technology computer aided design (TCAD) software, Silvaco Atlas, to design and model plasmonic gold nanoparticles integrated in optoelectronic device models of thin-film amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) PV cells. Upon illumination with incident light, we simulate the optical and electrical properties of the cell simultaneously and use the simulation to produce current–voltage (J−V) and external quantum efficiency plots. Light trapping due to light scattering and localized surface plasmon resonance interactions by the nanoparticles has resulted in the enhancement of both the optical and electrical properties due to the reduction in the recombination rates in the photoactive layer. We show that the device performance of the modeled plasmonic a-Si:H PV cells depends significantly on the position and size of the gold nanoparticles, which leads to improvements either in optical properties only, or in both optical and electrical properties. The model provides a route to optimize the device architecture by simultaneously optimizing the optical and electrical characteristics, which leads to a detailed understanding of plasmonic PV cells from a design perspective and offers an advanced tool for rapid device prototyping.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 February 2015
PDF: 11 pages
J. Photon. Energy 5(1) 057007 doi: 10.1117/1.JPE.5.057007
Published in: Journal of Photonics for Energy Volume 5, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Keyur K. Gandhi, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Ahmed Nejim, SILVACO Europe Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Michail J. Beliatis, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Christopher A. Mills, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Simon J. Henley, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
S. Ravi P. Silva, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)

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