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Nano-photonic light trapping near the Lambertian limit in organic solar cell architectures

TitleNano-photonic light trapping near the Lambertian limit in organic solar cell architectures
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBiswas, R, Timmons, E
JournalOptics Express
Date Published09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1094-4087
Accession NumberWOS:000324867100010
Keywordsabsorption, efficiency, enhancement, low-bandgap polymer, tandem polymer

A critical step to achieving higher efficiency solar cells is the broad band harvesting of solar photons. Although considerable progress has recently been achieved in improving the power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells, these cells still do not absorb upto similar to 50% of the solar spectrum. We have designed and developed an organic solar cell architecture that can boost the absorption of photons by 40% and the photocurrent by 50% for organic P3HT-PCBM absorber layers of typical device thicknesses. Our solar cell architecture is based on all layers of the solar cell being patterned in a conformal two-dimensionally periodic photonic crystal architecture. This results in very strong diffraction of photons-that increases the photon path length in the absorber layer, and plasmonic light concentration near the patterned organic-metal cathode interface. The absorption approaches the Lambertian limit. The simulations utilize a rigorous scattering matrix approach and provide bounds of the fundamental limits of nano-photonic light absorption in periodically textured organic solar cells. This solar cell architecture has the potential to increase the power conversion efficiency to 10% for single band gap organic solar cells utilizing long-wavelength absorbers. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America

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