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Proceedings Paper

Plasmonic enhancement of thin-film solar cells using gold-black coatings
Author(s): C. J. Fredricksen; D. R. Panjwani; J. P. Arnold; P. N. Figueiredo; F. K. Rezaie; J. Colwell; K. Baillie; S. J. Peppernick; A. G. Joly; K. M. Beck; W. P. Hess; R. E. Peale
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Paper Abstract

Coatings of conducting gold-black nano-structures on commercial thin-film amorphous-silicon solar cells enhance the short-circuit current by 20% over a broad spectrum from 400 to 800 nm wavelength. The efficiency, i.e. the ratio of the maximum electrical output power to the incident solar power, is found to increase 7% for initial un-optimized coatings. Metal blacks are produced cheaply and quickly in a low-vacuum process requiring no lithographic patterning. The inherently broad particle-size distribution is responsible for the broad spectrum enhancement in comparison to what has been reported for mono-disperse lithographically deposited or self-assembled metal nano-particles. Photoemission electron microscopy reveals the spatial-spectral distribution of hot-spots for plasmon resonances, where scattering of normally-incident solar flux into the plane increases the effective optical path in the thin film to enhance light harvesting. Efficiency enhancement is correlated with percent coverage and particle size distribution, which are determined from histogram and wavelet analysis of scanning electron microscopy images. Electrodynamic simulations reveal how the gold-black particles scatter the radiation and locally enhance the field strength.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 2011
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8111, Next Generation (Nano) Photonic and Cell Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion II, 811106 (20 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.893620
Show Author Affiliations
C. J. Fredricksen, LRC Engineering Inc. (United States)
D. R. Panjwani, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
J. P. Arnold, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
P. N. Figueiredo, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
F. K. Rezaie, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
J. Colwell, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
K. Baillie, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
S. J. Peppernick, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
A. G. Joly, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
K. M. Beck, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
W. P. Hess, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
R. E. Peale, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8111:
Next Generation (Nano) Photonic and Cell Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion II
Loucas Tsakalakos, Editor(s)

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