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Opt Express. 2009 Apr 27;17(9):7505-18.

Global optimization of silicon photovoltaic cell front coatings.

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Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


The front-coating (FC) of a solar cell controls its efficiency, determining admission of light into the absorbing material and potentially trapping light to enhance thin absorbers. Single-layer FC designs are well known, especially for thick absorbers where their only purpose is to reduce reflections. Multilayer FCs could improve performance, but require global optimization to design. For narrow bandwidths, one can always achieve nearly 100% absorption. For the entire solar bandwidth, however, a second FC layer improves performance by 6.1% for 256 microm wafer-based cells, or by 3.6% for 2 microm thin-film cells, while additional layers yield rapidly diminishing returns.

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