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The photonic solar cell. System design and efficiency estimations

: Höhn, O.; Kraus, T.; Schwarz, U.T.; Bläsi, B.


Wehrspohn, R.B. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Photonics for Solar Energy Systems V : Brussels, Belgium, 14.04.2014-16.04.2014
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2014 (Proceedings of SPIE 9140)
ISBN: 978-1-628-41088-4
Paper 91400B, 7 pp.
Conference "Photonics for Solar Energy Systems" <5, 2014, Brussels>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Fraunhofer IAF ()
Solarthermie und Optik; III-V und Konzentrator-Photovoltaik; Farbstoff; Organische und Neuartige Solarzellen; III-V Epitaxie und Solarzellen; Photonenmanagement; gallium arsenide; high efficiency solar cell; angularly selective filters; ID photonic crystals

The possibility to increase the efficiency of solar cells by a restriction of the maximal angle of emission has been proposed for several times. Typically, this is achieved by applying a directionally selective filter on top of the solar cell. This filter leads to a reflection of emitted light under certain angles back into the cell, where it then can be reabsorbed. A system where the emission process itself is inhibited for certain angles (photonic solar cell) is in principle a better system, because then optical losses in the system can be suppressed as the emission in fact does not take place. In this contribution, we focus on a photonic solar cell, where the cell and the filter are combined in one single optoelectronic device. This means that the solar cell itself has a photonic structure or is implemented into a photonic crystal. The interesting question is how such a device could look like and how it performs. Here, design concepts for photonic solar cells are shown and simulated optically. An interesting system could be an integration of a solar cell as defect layer into a thin film stack. To get an idea of the potential of such systems, the emission out of a photonic solar cell has to be compared to the emission out of a standard solar cell. To this end, a scattering-matrix-formalism is used. First estimations of the possible system efficiencies are given as indication of the system quality.