Title: Highly efficient ultra-thin crystalline silicon solar cell with plasmonic cavities

Authors: Jing Cao; Chinhua Wang; Xiaofeng Li; Bing Cao; Yimin Lou

Addresses: Institute of Modern Optical Technologies & Collaborative Innovation, Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Jiangsu Key Lab of Advanced Optical Manufacturing Technologies, Suzhou 215006, China; MOE Key Lab of Modern Optical Technologies, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China ' Institute of Modern Optical Technologies & Collaborative Innovation, Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Jiangsu Key Lab of Advanced Optical Manufacturing Technologies, Suzhou 215006, China; MOE Key Lab of Modern Optical Technologies, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China ' Institute of Modern Optical Technologies & Collaborative Innovation, Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Jiangsu Key Lab of Advanced Optical Manufacturing Technologies, Suzhou 215006, China; MOE Key Lab of Modern Optical Technologies, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China ' Institute of Modern Optical Technologies & Collaborative Innovation, Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Jiangsu Key Lab of Advanced Optical Manufacturing Technologies, Suzhou 215006, China; MOE Key Lab of Modern Optical Technologies, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China ' Institute of Modern Optical Technologies & Collaborative Innovation, Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Jiangsu Key Lab of Advanced Optical Manufacturing Technologies, Suzhou 215006, China; MOE Key Lab of Modern Optical Technologies, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China

Abstract: We report an ultra-thin crystalline silicon solar cell with broadband light absorption and great efficiency enhancement using periodically chirped plasmonic resonators. Broadband absorption can be achieved by incorporating different plasmonic resonators with different dimensions in one unit cell. Each resonator absorbs photons largely at its own wavelength owing to localised surface plasmon (LSP) resonance. The broad absorption of silicon inside the plasmonic cavity is significantly enhanced owing to the much extended absorption bandwidth resulting from the chirped structure. The performance of the designed solar cell is evaluated with the short-circuit current density, which is enhanced to 15.80 mA/cm2, much larger than the bare solar cells of ∼1.37 mA/cm2. Nanoimprint technique is proposed for implementing the chirped structure and a numerical investigation on the effect of the etching depth on the optical performance of the structure is also given. This provides a novel method for designing high performance photovoltaic devices and miniaturised photonic devices.

Keywords: plasmonics; photovoltaics; resonators; nanoimprint; nanotechnology; efficiency; ultra-thin crystalline solar cells; silicon solar cells; plasmonic cavities; solar energy; solar power; broadband light absorption; surface plasmon resonance; etching depth; photonics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNT.2015.071788

International Journal of Nanotechnology, 2015 Vol.12 No.10/11/12, pp.769 - 781

Published online: 18 Sep 2015 *

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