Optical characterisation of a spectrally tunable plasmonic reflector for application in thin-film silicon solar cells.

Abstract

We have investigated the interaction between a random two-dimensional array of Ag islands near a Ag reflector, with the aim of producing a plasmonic back reflector structure with high diffuse reflectivity in the near-infrared, 600–1100 nm wavelength, region. We have demonstrated the ability to tune the power scattered and absorbed by varying the distance between the plasmonic layer and the reflector. Finite-difference-time-domain (FDTD) simulations demonstrate the tunability of the scattered and absorbed power with separation distance for a single Ag nanosphere near a planar Ag reflector.

The tunability of the optical properties can be attributed to the modulation in the electric field driving the plasmonic resonance with separation distance. The simulation results indicate an intermediate distance where the scattered power peaks with minimal absorption losses. Random arrays of metal-islands were fabricated on varying thicknesses of a ZnO separation layer on a Ag reflector.

Compared to a conventional textured Ag reflector, which has ∼2% diffuse reflectance in the near-infrared spectral region, the fabricated plasmonic reflector with ∼200 nm sized Ag metal islands at 100 nm separation distance from the Ag reflector shows a relatively higher, ∼24%, integrated diffuse reflectance in the near bandgap, 600–1100 nm wavelength, region for thin film silicon solar cells.

Citation

Sesuraj, R.S., Temple, T.L. and Bagnall, D.M., 2013. Optical characterisation of a spectrally tunable plasmonic reflector for application in thin-film silicon solar cells. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 111, pp.23-30.

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Categories: Solar & Photovoltaics

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