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Opt Express. 2010 Mar 15;18(6):5481-95. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.005481.

2D back-side diffraction grating for improved light trapping in thin silicon solar cells.

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  • 1Institute for Energy Technology, Pb 40, 2027 Kjeller, Norway.


Light-trapping techniques can be used to improve the efficiency of thin silicon solar cells. We report on numerical investigation of a light trapping design consisting of a 2D back-side diffraction grating in combination with an aluminum mirror and a spacing layer of low permittivity to minimize parasitic absorption in the aluminum. The light-trapping design was compared to a planar reference design with antireflection coating and back-side aluminum mirror. Both normally and obliquely incident light was investigated. For normal incidence, the light trapping structure increases the short circuit current density with 17% from 30.4 mA/cm(2) to 35.5 mA/cm(2) for a 20 microm thick silicon solar cell. Our design also increases the current density in thinner cells, and yields higher current density than two recently published designs for cell thickness of 2 and 5 microm, respectively. The increase in current may be attributed to two factors; increased path length due to in-coupling of light, and decreased parasitic absorption in the aluminum due to the spacing layer.

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