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Proceedings Paper

Silicon solar cell light-trapping using defect mode photonic crystals
Author(s): Kelsey A. Whitesell; Dennis M. Callahan; Harry Atwater
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Paper Abstract

Nanostructured active or absorbing layers of solar cells, including photonic crystals and wire arrays, have been increasingly explored as potential options to enhance performance of thin film solar cells because of their unique ability to control light. We show that 2D photonic crystals can improve light trapping by an enhanced density of optical states and improved incoupling, and demonstrate, using FDTD simulation, absorption enhancements in 200nm thick crystalline silicon solar cells of up to 205% from λ = 300nm to 1100nm compared to a planar cell with an optimized two-layer antireflection coating. We report here a method to further enhance absorption by introducing a lattice of coupled defect modes into the photonic crystal, which modify the available optical states in the absorber. Our results show that 2D photonic crystals are a viable and rich research option for light trapping in thin film photovoltaics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 March 2013
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8620, Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices II, 86200D (25 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2005450
Show Author Affiliations
Kelsey A. Whitesell, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Dennis M. Callahan, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Harry Atwater, California Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8620:
Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices II
Alexandre Freundlich; Jean-Francois Guillemoles, Editor(s)

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