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16 March 2015 Above and below band edge light recovery with plasmonics
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Efficient solar energy conversion in photovoltaics and solar to chemical conversion is hindered by large band gaps and poor absorption in thin films. The easily tunable absorption and scattering cross section of localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) make it an ideal solution to capturing lost light. For above band edge light, scattering and light trapping can be used to increase absorption in thin semiconductor films, improving photoconversion without sacrificing recombination times. Below the band edge, plasmonic hot electrons can transfer to the semiconductor directly or resonant energy transfer can non-radiatively induce charge separation, allowing photoconversion where the semiconductor cannot absorb. In this brief review, we explore the mechanisms and efficiency of light recovery in plasmonics. Surface plasmon polaritons are used to increase light trapping in semiconductor nanowires using a metal nanohole array. Metal-semiconductor nanostructures with varying energy alignment, insulating barrier thickness, and spectral overlap are systematically varied to differentiate hot electron and resonant energy transfer. Transient absorption spectroscopy and action spectrum analysis are applied to track plasmonic charge creation and transfer, linking short and long time scale behavior. Guidelines are given for achieving optimal plasmonic light capturing and enhancement across the solar spectrum.
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Scott K. Cushing, Jiangtian Li, Alan D. Bristow, and Nianqiang Wu "Above and below band edge light recovery with plasmonics", Proc. SPIE 9358, Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices IV, 935811 (16 March 2015);

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