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Enhanced optical absorption for photovoltaics via excitation of waveguide and plasmon-polariton modes

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Abstract

We study theoretically the mechanisms by which optical absorption is enhanced in an optical nanostructure consisting of a slab waveguide, made of a-Si:H, sandwiched between a periodic array of metallic nanowires and a substrate, both made of Au. We demonstrate that for the TM polarization the optical absorption in the slab waveguide can be enhanced by almost an order of magnitude by the excitation of plasmon modes, whereas for both the TM and TE polarizations the grating-induced excitation of slab waveguide modes leads to more than twofold enhancement of the optical absorption.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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