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Multilayer nanoparticle arrays for broad spectrum absorption enhancement in thin film solar cells

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In this paper, we present a theoretical study on the absorption efficiency enhancement of a thin film amorphous Silicon (a-Si) photovoltaic cell over a broad spectrum of wavelengths using multiple nanoparticle arrays. The light absorption efficiency is enhanced in the lower wavelengths by a nanoparticle array on the surface and in the higher wavelengths by another nanoparticle array embedded in the active region. The efficiency at intermediate wavelengths is enhanced by the simultaneous resonance from both nanoparticle layers. We optimize this design by tuning the radius of particles in both arrays, the period of the array and the distance between the two arrays. The optimization results in a total quantum efficiency of 62.35% for a 0.3 μm thick a-Si substrate.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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Figures (9)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1 (a) Perspective view of the solar cell with silver nanoparticle arrays on the surface and in the bulk. (b) Various parameters of the considered design.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Quantum efficiency of various designs under consideration as a function of wavelength of light.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Field profile at different wavelengths inside the amorphous silicon substrate of Design 4. Field Distribution corresponds to wavelengths 547 nm, 666 nm, 799 nm and 1030 nm respectively are shown from left to right.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4 Variation of QE and TQE with change in inter particle layer separation
Fig. 5
Fig. 5 Variation of QE with wavelength for different (a) surface and (b) bulk layer particle radii.
Fig. 6
Fig. 6 Variation in TQE with change in surface and bulk layer nanoparticle radii
Fig. 7
Fig. 7 Alignment of particles in bulk and surface array.
Fig. 8
Fig. 8 Variation of QE and TQE with change in the alignment of particles.
Fig. 9
Fig. 9 QE variation with wavelength for Design-1 and optimized Design 4

Tables (2)

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Table 1 Specifications for the proposed design and reference designs (all dimensions are in nm)

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Table 2 Comparison of TQE of the proposed design with the other considered designs and their enhancement as compared to a-Si without nanoparticles

Equations (6)

Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.

α = 3 V ( ε ε m ε + 2 ε m )
ε ( ω , D ) = ε I B + ( 1 ω p 2 ω 2 + i ω γ ( D ) )
γ ( D ) = γ 0 + 2 ( A v F D )
C scat = 1 6 π ( 2 π λ ) 4 | α | 2
Q E ( λ ) = P abs ( λ ) P in ( λ ) .
TQE = λ 1 λ 2 λ h c Q E ( λ ) I A M 1.5 ( λ ) d λ λ 1 λ 2 λ h c I A M 1.5 ( λ ) d λ


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