16 February 2018 Comprehensive study of various light trapping techniques used for sandwiched thin film solar cell structures
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Abstract
Thin film solar cells (TFSCs) where first introduced as a low cost alternative to conventional thick ones. TFSCs show low conversion efficiencies due to the used poor quality materials having weak absorption capabilities and to thin absorption layers. In order to increase light absorption within the active layer, specially near its absorption edge, photon management techniques were proposed. These techniques could be implemented on the top of the active layer to enhance the absorption capabilities and/or to act as anti-reflecting coating structures. When used at the back side, their purpose is to prevent the unabsorbed photons from escaping through the back of the cell.

In this paper, we coupled the finite difference time-domain (FDTD) algorithm for simulating light interaction within the cell with the commercial simulator Comsol Multiphysics 4.3b for describing carrier transports. In order to model the dispersive and absorption properties of various used materials, their complex refractive indices were estimated using the Lorentzian-Drude (LD) coefficients. We have calculated the absorption profile in the different layers of the cell, the external quantum efficiency and the power conversion efficiency achieved by adding dielectric nanospheres on the top of the active layer. Besides that, the enhancement observed after the addition of dielectric nanospheres at the back side of the active layer was computed. The obtained results are finally compared with the effects of using textured surface and nanowires on the top in plus of cascaded 1D and 2D photonic crystals on the back.
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S. Abdellatif, K. Kirah, R. Ghannam, A. S. G. Khalil, W. Anis, "Comprehensive study of various light trapping techniques used for sandwiched thin film solar cell structures", Proc. SPIE 10527, Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices VII, 1052715 (16 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2291613; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291613
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