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Proceedings Paper

Efficient light scattering in plasmonic light trapping designs for thin film solar cells
Author(s): Liming Ji; Vasundara V. Varadan
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Paper Abstract

Plasmonic structures have been proposed for enhancing light absorption in thin film solar cells, for which insufficient light absorption is a limiting factor for further improvement of efficiency. The optical path of light in the absorber layer of a solar cell is increased due to the enhanced light scattering by plasmonic structures at resonance. This process involves two steps of energy conversion: light-electron and then electron-light. The first step couples optical energy into the kinetic energy of collective electron motions in plasmonic structures, forming oscillating current. This step is easy to implement as long as plasmonic structures are at resonance. The second step releases the energy from electrons to photons. An efficient release of photon energy is a must for solar cell applications and it is dependent on the two competing effects: light scattering and field localization that results in heat loss. Theoretical discussions and simulation work are provided in the paper. The scattering of light by a plasmonic structure is analyzed based on the antenna radiation theory. Three factors are found to be important for the efficiency of a plasmonic light trapping design: the radiation of each unit structure, the array factor and the energy feeding of the structure. An efficient plasmonic light trapping design requires proper considerations of all the three factors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9434, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2015, 94340I (3 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2085444
Show Author Affiliations
Liming Ji, Univ. of Arkansas (United States)
Vasundara V. Varadan, Univ. of Arkansas (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9434:
Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2015
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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