Ag and Sn Nanoparticles to Enhance the Near-Infrared Absorbance of a-Si: H Thin Films

Diana Gaspar, A. C. Pimentel, M. J. Mendes, Tiago Mateus, Bruno Poças Falcão, J. P. Leitão, J. Soares, A. Araújo, A. Vicente, S. A. Filonovich, H. Águas, R. Martins, I. Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Silver (Ag) and tin (Sn) nanoparticles (NPs) were deposited by thermal evaporation onto heated glass substrates with a good control of size, shape and surface coverage. This process has the advantage of allowing the fabrication of thin-film solar cells with incorporated NPs without vacuum break, since it does not require chemical processes or post-deposition annealing. The X-ray diffraction, TEM and SEM properties are correlated with optical measurements and amorphous silicon hydrogenated (a-Si:H) films deposited on top of both types of NPs show enhanced absorbance in the near-infrared. The results are interpreted with electromagnetic modelling performed with Mie theory. A broad emission in the near-infrared region is considerably increased after covering the Ag nanoparticles with an a-Si:H layer. Such effect may be of interest for possible down-conversion mechanisms in novel photovoltaic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1023
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • a-Si:H
  • Light trapping
  • Silver and tin nanoparticles
  • Surface plasmons


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