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Issue 100, 2015
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Ultrathin amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells by magnetic plasmonic metamaterial absorbers

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Abstract

Efficient solar harvesting for ultrathin amorphous silicon (α-Si) films with a thickness of less than 100 nm is critical to the performance of solar cells, since the very short carrier-diffusion length of α-Si and the Staebler–Wronski effect restrict their thickness. In this work, we numerically investigate energy harvesting in metamaterial-based solar cells, in which an ultrathin α-Si film is sandwiched between a silver (Ag) substrate and a square array of Ag nanodisks, and combined with an indium tin oxide (ITO) anti-reflection layer. It is found that only a 20 nm-thick α-Si film is able to absorb over 50% solar energy in the spectral range from 300 to 800 nm at normal incidence, and the amount of absorbed light is equivalent to a photocurrent of about 13.4 mA cm−2. This broadband absorption is achieved by the spectral design on the overlapped absorption peaks which are caused by the excitations of two lowest-order Fabry–Pérot (FP) resonances in the α-Si and ITO layers and a magnetic resonance arising from the plasmon hybridization between Ag disks and the substrate. The absorption performance of our structure is less dependent on the incident angle θ and polarization of light when θ < 20°, but it will decrease dramatically when θ > 70° (20°) for P (S) polarization.

Graphical abstract: Ultrathin amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells by magnetic plasmonic metamaterial absorbers

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Article information


Submitted
30 Jul 2015
Accepted
21 Sep 2015
First published
21 Sep 2015

RSC Adv., 2015,5, 81866-81874
Article type
Paper

Ultrathin amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells by magnetic plasmonic metamaterial absorbers

C. Tang, Z. Yan, Q. Wang, J. Chen, M. Zhu, B. Liu, F. Liu and C. Sui, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 81866 DOI: 10.1039/C5RA15177E

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