Adequacy of the rigorous coupled-wave approach for thin-film silicon solar cells with periodically corrugated metallic backreflectors: Spectral analysis

Mikhail V. Shuba, Muhammad Faryad, Manuel E. Solano, Peter B. Monk, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The rigorous coupled-wave approach (RCWA) is extensively used to compute optical absorption and photon absorption in thin-film photovoltaic solar cells backed by 1D metallic gratings when the wave vector of the incident light lies wholly in the grating plane. The RCWA algorithm converges rapidly for incident s-polarized light over the entire 400-1100 nm solar spectrum. It also performs well for incident p-polarized light in the 400-650 nm spectral regime, but even with a large number of Floquet harmonics in the solution, the total reflectance is underestimated in the 650-1100 nm spectral regime. Despite that shortcoming, the RCWA underestimates the solar-spectrum-integrated photon absorption rate only by 5%-10% for p-polarized light. As sunlight is almost unpolarized, the RCWA should be considered adequate to design thin-film silicon solar cells with periodically corrugated metallic backreflectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1222-1230
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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