Directionally selective light trapping in a germanium solar cell
Restricting the angular range in which a photovoltaic system emits light, is a promising but rather unexplored approach to enhance conversion efficiency. In this paper we analyze and discuss the effect of a directionally selective filter on the absorption of light and the generation of charge carriers in a germanium solar cell. A directionally selective filter transmits photons of perpendicular incidence and reflects photons under oblique incidence in a given spectral range. To investigate its effect on light trapping, we perform reflection and quantum efficiency measurements. The reflection measurements show that a wavelength dependent absorption enhancement is induced by the application of the directionally selective filter. We calculate a maximum absorption enhancement of 45% at lambda approximate to 1900 nm. We show that the absorption enhancement is caused by light trapping of non-absorbed and scattered light and is not due to a suppression of radiative processes. A trapping of photons generated by radiative recombination could not be detected. Measurements of the quantum efficiency confirm the results of the reflection measurements. The generation of charge carriers is increased by up to 33% at lambda approximate to 1900 nm. A comparison of path length enhancement factors calculated from reflection and quantum efficiency measurements indicates a low parasitic absorption in the solar cell device.