Rear side sphere gratings for improved light trapping in crystalline silicon single junction and silicon-based tandem solar cells
Rear side hexagonal sphere gratings are demonstrated as diffractive structures that enhance the light path length in the near infrared, where crystalline silicon solar cells suffer from weak absorption. Moreover, the rear side sphere grating can be added behind a solar cell with flat rear surface, giving an ""electrically flat but optically rough"" device with high efficiency potential. Here, a thin passivating tunnel-contact layer electrically separates the sphere grating from the cell's base. Solar cells with the rear side sphere grating have obtained a VOC of up to 710 mV and a FF of up to 81.9%. External quantum efficiency measurements show a current density gain of 1.4 mA/cm2 due to the sphere grating. This leads to an overall efficiency of up to 22.1% for the solar cells with planar front side and rear side sphere grating. Estimates for perovskite-silicon and III/V-silicon tandem devices show that the efficiency of tandems can be enhanced by up to 2.4% absolute with a sphere grating on the rear side. Thus, sphere gratings could improve Si-based tandem devices that are limited due to a low current in the Si bottom cell.