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Black silicon for solar cell applications

: Kroll, Matthias; Otto, Martin; Käsebier, Thomas; Füchsel, Kevin; Wehrspohn, Ralf; Kley, Ernst-Bernhard; Tünnermann, Andreas; Pertsch, Thomas


Wehrspohn, R. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Photonics for Solar Energy Systems IV : April 2012, Brussels, Belgium
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2012 (Proceedings of SPIE 8438)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9130-5
Paper 843817
Conference "Photonics for Solar Energy Systems" <4, 2012, Brussels>
Fraunhofer IOF ()
Fraunhofer IWM ()
black silicon; light trapping; anti-reflection coating; crystalline silicon; solar cell; efficience; formulation; gratings

We present experimental results and rigorous numerical simulations on the optical properties of Black Silicon surfaces and their implications for solar cell applications. The Black Silicon is fabricated by reactive ion etching of crystalline silicon with SF6 and O2. This produces a surface consisting of sharp randomly distributed needle like features with a characteristic lateral spacing of about a few hundreds of nanometers and a wide range of aspect ratios depending on the process parameters. Due to the very low reflectance over a broad spectral range and a pronounced light trapping effect at the silicon absorption edge such Black Silicon surface textures are beneficial for photon management in photovoltaic applications. We demonstrate that those light trapping properties prevail upon functionalization of the Black Silicon with dielectric coatings, necessary to construct a photovoltaic system. The experimental investigations are accompanied by rigorous numerical simulations based on three dimensional models of the Black Silicon structures. Those simulations allow insights into the light trapping mechanism and the influence of the substrate thickness onto the optical performance of the Black Silicon. Finally we use an analytical solar cell model to relate the optical properties of Black Silicon to the maximum photo current and solar cell efficiency in dependence of the solar cell thickness. The results are compared to standard light trapping schemes and implications especially for thin solar cells are discussed.