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Design and Analysis of Nano-Structured Gratings for Conversion Efficiency Improvement in GaAs Solar Cells

by Narottam Das 1,2,* and Syed Islam 2
1
School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrés G. Muñoz
Energies 2016, 9(9), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9090690
Received: 9 June 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 18 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Structured Solar Cells)
This paper presents the design and analysis of nano-structured gratings to improve the conversion efficiency in GaAs solar cells by reducing the light reflection losses. A finite-difference time domain (FDTD) simulation tool is used to design and simulate the light reflection losses of the subwavelength grating (SWG) structure in GaAs solar cells. The SWG structures perform as an excellent alternative antireflective (AR) coating due to their capacity to reduce the reflection losses in GaAs solar cells. It allows the gradual change in the refractive index that confirms an excellent AR and the light trapping properties, when compared with the planar thin film structures. The nano-rod structure performs as a single layer AR coating, whereas the triangular (i.e., conical or perfect cone) and parabolic (i.e., trapezoidal/truncated cone) shaped nano-grating structures perform as a multilayer AR coating. The simulation results confirm that the reflection loss of triangular-shaped nano-grating structures having a 300-nm grating height and a 830-nm period is about 2%, which is about 28% less than the flat type substrates. It also found that the intermediate (i.e., trapezoidal and parabolic)-shaped structures, the light reflection loss is lower than the rectangular shaped nano-grating structure, but higher than the triangular shaped nano-grating structure. This analysis confirmed that the triangular shaped nano-gratings are an excellent alternative AR coating for conversion efficiency improvement in GaAs solar cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: FDTD simulation; nano-structures; light reflection loss; solar cells; subwavelength grating (SWG); triangular or conical shaped nano-grating FDTD simulation; nano-structures; light reflection loss; solar cells; subwavelength grating (SWG); triangular or conical shaped nano-grating
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Das, N.; Islam, S. Design and Analysis of Nano-Structured Gratings for Conversion Efficiency Improvement in GaAs Solar Cells. Energies 2016, 9, 690.

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