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Proceedings Paper

Coupling of light scattered by nanoparticles into waveguide modes in quantum-well solar cells
Author(s): Daniel Derkacs; Winnie V. Chen; Peter Matheu; Swee H. Lim; Paul K. L. Yu; E. T. Yu
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Paper Abstract

We describe experimental and theoretical analysis of coupling of light scattered by metal or dielectric nanoparticles into waveguide modes of InP/InGaAsP quantum-well solar cells. The integration of metal or dielectric nanoparticles above the quantum-well solar cell device is shown to couple normally incident light into lateral optical propagation paths, with optical confinement provided by the refractive index contrast between the quantum-well layers and surrounding material. Photocurrent response spectra yield clear evidence of scattering of photons into the multiple-quantum-well waveguide structure, and consequently increased photocurrent generation, at wavelengths between the band gaps of the barrier and quantum-well layers. With minimal optimization, a short-circuit current density increase of 12.9% and 7.3% and power conversion efficiency increases of 17% and 1% are observed for silica and Au nanoparticles, respectively. A theoretical approach for calculating the optical coupling is described, and the resulting analysis suggests that extremely high coupling efficiency can be attained in appropriately designed structures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7047, Nanoscale Photonic and Cell Technologies for Photovoltaics, 704703 (28 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.799666
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel Derkacs, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Winnie V. Chen, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Peter Matheu, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Swee H. Lim, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
Paul K. L. Yu, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)
E. T. Yu, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7047:
Nanoscale Photonic and Cell Technologies for Photovoltaics
Loucas Tsakalakos, Editor(s)

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