Broadband photocurrent enhancement in a-Si:H solar cells with plasmonic back reflectors

Seweryn Morawiec, Manuel João Mendes, Sergej Filonovich, Tiago C. Mateus, Salvo Mirabella, Hugo Manuel Brito Águas, Isabel Maria Mercês Ferreira, Francesca Simone, Elvira Maria Correia Fortunato, Rodrigo Ferrão de Paiva Martins, Francesco Priolo, Isodiana Crupi

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Plasmonic light trapping in thin film silicon solar cells is a promising route to achieve high efficiency with reduced volumes of semiconductor material. In this paper, we study the enhancement in the opto-electronic performance of thin a-Si:H solar cells due to the light scattering effects of plasmonic back reflectors (PBRs), composed of self-assembled silver nanoparticles (NPs), incorporated on the cells' rear contact. The optical properties of the PBRs are investigated according to the morphology of the NPs, which can be tuned by the fabrication parameters. By analyzing sets of solar cells built on distinct PBRs we show that the photocurrent enhancement achieved in the a-Si:H light trapping window (600 - 800 nm) stays in linear relation with the PBRs diffuse reflection. The best-performing PBRs allow a pronounced broadband photocurrent enhancement in the cells which is attributed not only to the plasmon-assisted light scattering from the NPs but also to the front surface texture originated from the conformal growth of the cell material over the particles. As a result, remarkably high values of J(sc) and V-oc are achieved in comparison to those previously reported in the literature for the same type of devices. (C)2014 Optical Society of America
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A1059-A1070
JournalOptics Express
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014




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