Ultra-fast plasmonic back reflectors production for light trapping in thin Si solar cells

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A fast method is presented to fabricate plasmonic light trapping structures in just ten minutes (>5 × faster than the present state of art), with excellent light scattering properties. The structures are composed of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) deposited by thermal evaporation and self-assembled using a rapid thermal annealing (RTA) system. The effect of the RTA heating rate on the NPs production reveals to be crucial to the decrease of the annealing process. The Ag NPs are integrated in thin film silicon solar cells to form a plasmonic back reflector (PBR) that causes a diffused light reflectivity in the near-infrared (600–1100 nm wavelength region). In this configuration the thicknesses of the AZO spacer/passivating layers between NPs and rear mirror, and between NPs and silicon layer, play critical roles in the near-field coupling of the reflected light towards the solar cell absorber, which is investigated in this work. The best spacer thicknesses were found to be 100 and 60 nm, respectively, for Ag NPs with preferential sizes of about 200 nm. The microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) solar cells deposited on such improved PBR demonstrate an overall 11% improvement on device efficiency, corresponding to a photocurrent of 24.4 mA/cm2 and an efficiency of 6.78%, against 21.79 mA/cm2 and 6.12%, respectively, obtained on flat structures without NPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-792
Number of pages7
JournalSolar Energy
Volume174
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Fingerprint

Solar cells
Rapid thermal annealing
Microcrystalline silicon
Thermal evaporation
Silicon solar cells
Silicon
Heating rate
Photocurrents
Silver
Light scattering
Mirrors
Annealing
Nanoparticles
Infrared radiation
Wavelength
Thin film solar cells

Keywords

  • Plasmonic light trapping
  • Rapid thermal annealing
  • Silver nanoparticle self-assembled structures
  • Thin film Si solar cells

Cite this

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title = "Ultra-fast plasmonic back reflectors production for light trapping in thin Si solar cells",
abstract = "A fast method is presented to fabricate plasmonic light trapping structures in just ten minutes (>5 × faster than the present state of art), with excellent light scattering properties. The structures are composed of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) deposited by thermal evaporation and self-assembled using a rapid thermal annealing (RTA) system. The effect of the RTA heating rate on the NPs production reveals to be crucial to the decrease of the annealing process. The Ag NPs are integrated in thin film silicon solar cells to form a plasmonic back reflector (PBR) that causes a diffused light reflectivity in the near-infrared (600–1100 nm wavelength region). In this configuration the thicknesses of the AZO spacer/passivating layers between NPs and rear mirror, and between NPs and silicon layer, play critical roles in the near-field coupling of the reflected light towards the solar cell absorber, which is investigated in this work. The best spacer thicknesses were found to be 100 and 60 nm, respectively, for Ag NPs with preferential sizes of about 200 nm. The microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) solar cells deposited on such improved PBR demonstrate an overall 11{\%} improvement on device efficiency, corresponding to a photocurrent of 24.4 mA/cm2 and an efficiency of 6.78{\%}, against 21.79 mA/cm2 and 6.12{\%}, respectively, obtained on flat structures without NPs.",
keywords = "Plasmonic light trapping, Rapid thermal annealing, Silver nanoparticle self-assembled structures, Thin film Si solar cells",
author = "Andreia Ara{\'u}jo and Mendes, {Manuel J.} and Tiago Mateus and Jo{\~a}o Costa and Daniela Nunes and Elvira Fortunato and Hugo {\'A}guas and Rodrigo Martins",
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T1 - Ultra-fast plasmonic back reflectors production for light trapping in thin Si solar cells

AU - Araújo, Andreia

AU - Mendes, Manuel J.

AU - Mateus, Tiago

AU - Costa, João

AU - Nunes, Daniela

AU - Fortunato, Elvira

AU - Águas, Hugo

AU - Martins, Rodrigo

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N2 - A fast method is presented to fabricate plasmonic light trapping structures in just ten minutes (>5 × faster than the present state of art), with excellent light scattering properties. The structures are composed of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) deposited by thermal evaporation and self-assembled using a rapid thermal annealing (RTA) system. The effect of the RTA heating rate on the NPs production reveals to be crucial to the decrease of the annealing process. The Ag NPs are integrated in thin film silicon solar cells to form a plasmonic back reflector (PBR) that causes a diffused light reflectivity in the near-infrared (600–1100 nm wavelength region). In this configuration the thicknesses of the AZO spacer/passivating layers between NPs and rear mirror, and between NPs and silicon layer, play critical roles in the near-field coupling of the reflected light towards the solar cell absorber, which is investigated in this work. The best spacer thicknesses were found to be 100 and 60 nm, respectively, for Ag NPs with preferential sizes of about 200 nm. The microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) solar cells deposited on such improved PBR demonstrate an overall 11% improvement on device efficiency, corresponding to a photocurrent of 24.4 mA/cm2 and an efficiency of 6.78%, against 21.79 mA/cm2 and 6.12%, respectively, obtained on flat structures without NPs.

AB - A fast method is presented to fabricate plasmonic light trapping structures in just ten minutes (>5 × faster than the present state of art), with excellent light scattering properties. The structures are composed of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) deposited by thermal evaporation and self-assembled using a rapid thermal annealing (RTA) system. The effect of the RTA heating rate on the NPs production reveals to be crucial to the decrease of the annealing process. The Ag NPs are integrated in thin film silicon solar cells to form a plasmonic back reflector (PBR) that causes a diffused light reflectivity in the near-infrared (600–1100 nm wavelength region). In this configuration the thicknesses of the AZO spacer/passivating layers between NPs and rear mirror, and between NPs and silicon layer, play critical roles in the near-field coupling of the reflected light towards the solar cell absorber, which is investigated in this work. The best spacer thicknesses were found to be 100 and 60 nm, respectively, for Ag NPs with preferential sizes of about 200 nm. The microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) solar cells deposited on such improved PBR demonstrate an overall 11% improvement on device efficiency, corresponding to a photocurrent of 24.4 mA/cm2 and an efficiency of 6.78%, against 21.79 mA/cm2 and 6.12%, respectively, obtained on flat structures without NPs.

KW - Plasmonic light trapping

KW - Rapid thermal annealing

KW - Silver nanoparticle self-assembled structures

KW - Thin film Si solar cells

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U2 - 10.1016/j.solener.2018.08.068

DO - 10.1016/j.solener.2018.08.068

M3 - Article

VL - 174

SP - 786

EP - 792

JO - Solar Energy

JF - Solar Energy

SN - 0038-092X

ER -