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Open AccessArticle

Plasmonic Light Trapping in Thin-Film Solar Cells: Impact of Modeling on Performance Prediction

1
Division of Optoelectronics, Engineering Department, University of Sannio, Benevento 82100, Italy
2
ENEA–Portici Research Center, Portici 80055, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gururaj V. Naik
Materials 2015, 8(6), 3648-3670; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma8063648
Received: 27 May 2015 / Revised: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 10 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Materials)
We present a comparative study on numerical models used to predict the absorption enhancement in thin-film solar cells due to the presence of structured back-reflectors exciting, at specific wavelengths, hybrid plasmonic-photonic resonances. To evaluate the effectiveness of the analyzed models, they have been applied in a case study: starting from a U-shaped textured glass thin-film, µc-Si:H solar cells have been successfully fabricated. The fabricated cells, with different intrinsic layer thicknesses, have been morphologically, optically and electrically characterized. The experimental results have been successively compared with the numerical predictions. We have found that, in contrast to basic models based on the underlying schematics of the cell, numerical models taking into account the real morphology of the fabricated device, are able to effectively predict the cells performances in terms of both optical absorption and short-circuit current values. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar cells; plasmonics; light trapping solar cells; plasmonics; light trapping
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Micco, A.; Pisco, M.; Ricciardi, A.; Mercaldo, L.V.; Usatii, I.; Ferrara, V.L.; Veneri, P.D.; Cutolo, A.; Cusano, A. Plasmonic Light Trapping in Thin-Film Solar Cells: Impact of Modeling on Performance Prediction. Materials 2015, 8, 3648-3670.

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