On optical-absorption peaks in a nonhomogeneous thin-film solar cell with a two-dimensional periodically corrugated metallic backreflector

Faiz Ahmad, Tom H. Anderson, Benjamin J. Civiletti, Peter B. Monk, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

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The rigorous coupled-wave approach (RCWA) was implemented to investigate optical absorption in a triple-p-i-n-junction amorphous-silicon solar cell with a two-dimensional (2-D) metallic periodically corrugated backreflector (PCBR). Both total and useful absorptances were computed against the free-space wavelength λ0 for both s- and p-polarized polarization states. The useful absorptance in each of the three p-i-n junctions was also computed for normal as well as oblique incidence. Furthermore, two canonical boundary-value problems were solved for the prediction of guided-wave modes (GWMs): surface-plasmon-polariton waves and waveguide modes. Use of the doubly periodic PCBR enhanced both useful and total absorptances in comparison with a planar backreflector. The predicted GWMs were correlated with the peaks of the total and useful absorptances. The excitation of GWMs was mostly confined to λ0 < 700 nm and enhanced absorption. As excitation of certain GWMs could be correlated with the total absorptance but not with the useful absorptance, the useful absorptance should be studied while devising light-trapping strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016017
JournalJournal of Nanophotonics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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