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Proceedings Paper

Optimal light trapping in ultra-thin photonic crystal crystalline silicon solar cells
Author(s): Shrestha Basu Mallick; Mukul Agrawal; Peter Peumans
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Paper Abstract

Using thin films of crystalline silicon to make solar cells reduces the cost by reducing the amount of material needed and allowing poorer quality material with shorter carrier diffusion lengths to be used. However, the indirect band gap of silicon requires that a light trapping approach be used to maximize optical absorption. Here, a photonic crystal (PC) based approach is used to maximize solar light harvesting in a 400 nm-thick silicon layer by tuning the coupling strength of incident radiation to quasiguided modes over a broad spectral range. The structure consists of a double layer PC. We show an enhancement of maximum achievable photocurrent density from 7.1 mA/cm2 for an unstructured film to 21.8 mA/cm2 for a structured film for normal incidence. This photocurrent density value approaches the limit of 26.5 mA/cm2, obtained using the Yablonovitch light trapping limit for the same volume of active material.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 May 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7725, Photonics for Solar Energy Systems III, 772503 (18 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.854122
Show Author Affiliations
Shrestha Basu Mallick, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Mukul Agrawal, Applied Materials, Inc. (United States)
Peter Peumans, Stanford Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7725:
Photonics for Solar Energy Systems III
Ralf B. Wehrspohn; Andreas Gombert, Editor(s)

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