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Tuning the colors of c-Si solar cells by exploiting plasmonic effects
Author(s): G. Peharz; B. Grosschädl; C. Prietl; W. Waldhauser; F. P. Wenzl
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Paper Abstract

The color of a crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cell is mainly determined by its anti-reflective coating. This is a lambda/4 coating made from a transparent dielectric material. The thickness of the anti-reflective coating is optimized for maximal photocurrent generation, resulting in the typical blue or black colors of c-Si solar cells. However, for building-integrated photovoltaic (BiPV) applications the color of the solar cells is demanded to be tunable – ideally by a cheap and flexible coating process on standard (low cost) c-Si solar cells. Such a coating can be realized by applying plasmonic coloring which is a rapidly growing technology for high-quality color filtering and rendering for different fields of application (displays, imaging,…).

In this contribution, we present results of an approach for tuning the color of standard industrial c-Si solar cells that is based on coating them with metallic nano-particles. In particular, thin films (< 20 nm) of a metal (e.g., silver) were sputtered onto c-Si solar cells and thermally annealed subsequently. The sizes and the shapes of the nano-particles (characterized by SEM) were found to depend on the thickness of the deposited films and the surface roughness of the substrates/solar cells. With such an approach it is possible to tune the color of the standard c-Si cells from blue to green and brownish/red. The position of the resonance peak in the reflection spectrum was found to be almost independent from the angle of incidence. This low angular sensitivity is a clear advantage compared to alternative color tuning methods, for which additional dielectric thin films are deposited on c-Si solar cells.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 September 2016
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9937, Next Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion VII, 99370P (23 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2237754
Show Author Affiliations
G. Peharz, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Austria)
B. Grosschädl, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Austria)
C. Prietl, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Austria)
W. Waldhauser, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Austria)
F. P. Wenzl, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Austria)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9937:
Next Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion VII
Oleg V. Sulima; Gavin Conibeer, Editor(s)

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Tuning the colors of c-Si solar cells by exploiting plasmonic effects



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