Photonic crystal enhanced light-trapping in thin film solar cells

TitlePhotonic crystal enhanced light-trapping in thin film solar cells
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsZhou DY, Biswas R
Journal TitleJournal of Applied Physics
Date PublishedMay
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0021-8979
Accession NumberISI:000255983200002

We utilize photonic crystals to simulate enhanced light-trapping in a-Si:H thin film solar cells. A one dimensional photonic crystal or distributed Bragg reflector with alternating dielectric layers acts as low loss backreflector. A two dimensional photonic crystal between the absorber layer and the Bragg reflector diffracts light at oblique angles within the absorber. The photonic crystal geometry is optimized to obtain maximum absorption. The photonic crystal provides lossless diffraction of photons, increasing the photon path length within the absorber layer. The simulation predicts significantly enhanced photon harvesting between 600 and 775 nm below the band edge, and an absorption increase by more than a factor of 10 near the band edge. The optical path length ratio can exceed the classical limit predicted for randomly roughened scattering surfaces at most wavelengths near the band edge. The optical modeling is performed with a rigorous scattering matrix approach where Maxwell's equations are solved in Fourier space. (C) 2008 American Institute of Physics.

Alternate JournalJ. Appl. Phys.