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Plasmonic reflection grating back contacts for microcrystalline silicon solar cells

: Paetzold, U.W.; Moulin, E.; Michaelis, D.; Böttler, W.; Wächter, C.; Hagemann, V.; Meier, M.; Carius, R.; Rau, U.


Applied Physics Letters 99 (2011), Nr.18, Art. 181105, 3 S.
ISSN: 0003-6951 (Print)
ISSN: 1077-3118
ISSN: 1931-9401 (online)
Fraunhofer IOF ()
aluminium; diffraction grating; II-VI semiconductors; nanostructured material; plasmonics; silicon; silver; solar cell; zinc compounds

We report on the fabrication and optical simulation of a plasmonic light-trapping concept for microcrystalline silicon solar cells, consisting of silver nanostructures arranged in square lattice at the ZnO:Al/Ag back contact of the solar cell. Those solar cells deposited on this plasmonic reflection grating back contact showed an enhanced spectral response in the wavelengths range from 500 nm to 1000 nm, when comparing to flat solar cells. For a particular period, even an enhancement of the short circuit current density in comparison to the conventional random texture light-trapping concept is obtained. Full three-dimensional electromagnetic simulations are used to explain the working principle of the plasmonic light-trapping concept.