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Can plasmonic Al nanoparticles improve absorption in triple junction solar cells?

Yang L, Pillai S, Green MA - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: The particle period, diameter and the thickness of the oxide layers were optimised for the sub-cells using simulations to achieve the lowest reflection and maximum external quantum efficiencies.Our results highlight the importance of proper reference comparison, and unlike previously published results, raise doubts regarding the effectiveness of Al plasmonic nanoparticles as a suitable front-side scattering medium for broadband efficiency enhancements when compared to standard single-layer antireflection coatings.However, by embedding the nanoparticles within the dielectric layer, they have the potential to perform better than an antireflection layer and provide enhanced response from both the sub-cells.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW-2052, Australia [2] College of Applied Nuclear Technology and Automation Engineering, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China.

ABSTRACT
Plasmonic nanoparticles located on the illuminated surface of a solar cell can perform the function of an antireflection layer, as well as a scattering layer, facilitating light-trapping. Al nanoparticles have recently been proposed to aid photocurrent enhancements in GaAs photodiodes in the wavelength region of 400-900 nm by mitigating any parasitic absorption losses. Because this spectral region corresponds to the top and middle sub-cell of a typical GaInP/GaInAs/Ge triple junction solar cell, in this work, we investigated the potential of similar periodic Al nanoparticles placed on top of a thin SiO2 spacer layer that can also serve as an antireflection coating at larger thicknesses. The particle period, diameter and the thickness of the oxide layers were optimised for the sub-cells using simulations to achieve the lowest reflection and maximum external quantum efficiencies. Our results highlight the importance of proper reference comparison, and unlike previously published results, raise doubts regarding the effectiveness of Al plasmonic nanoparticles as a suitable front-side scattering medium for broadband efficiency enhancements when compared to standard single-layer antireflection coatings. However, by embedding the nanoparticles within the dielectric layer, they have the potential to perform better than an antireflection layer and provide enhanced response from both the sub-cells.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(a) SWQE of the top sub-cell as a function of the underlying SiO2 thickness and NP period for D100H50, (b) Contour map plot. (Green spot indicates the maximum SWQE).
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f5: (a) SWQE of the top sub-cell as a function of the underlying SiO2 thickness and NP period for D100H50, (b) Contour map plot. (Green spot indicates the maximum SWQE).

Mentions: Here, we investigate the response of the GaInP top sub-cell in the spectral region of 350–650 nm. Figure 5(a,b) shows the calculated and interpolated SWQE for the GaInP top sub-cell, respectively. The interpolation method is same as that used in Fig. 4(b). The maximum calculated and interpolated SWQE for the top GaInP sub-cell is 74.4% and 74.5% with NP configurations of P400AR60 and P375AR59, respectively.


Can plasmonic Al nanoparticles improve absorption in triple junction solar cells?

Yang L, Pillai S, Green MA - Sci Rep (2015)

(a) SWQE of the top sub-cell as a function of the underlying SiO2 thickness and NP period for D100H50, (b) Contour map plot. (Green spot indicates the maximum SWQE).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4490398&req=5

f5: (a) SWQE of the top sub-cell as a function of the underlying SiO2 thickness and NP period for D100H50, (b) Contour map plot. (Green spot indicates the maximum SWQE).
Mentions: Here, we investigate the response of the GaInP top sub-cell in the spectral region of 350–650 nm. Figure 5(a,b) shows the calculated and interpolated SWQE for the GaInP top sub-cell, respectively. The interpolation method is same as that used in Fig. 4(b). The maximum calculated and interpolated SWQE for the top GaInP sub-cell is 74.4% and 74.5% with NP configurations of P400AR60 and P375AR59, respectively.

Bottom Line: The particle period, diameter and the thickness of the oxide layers were optimised for the sub-cells using simulations to achieve the lowest reflection and maximum external quantum efficiencies.Our results highlight the importance of proper reference comparison, and unlike previously published results, raise doubts regarding the effectiveness of Al plasmonic nanoparticles as a suitable front-side scattering medium for broadband efficiency enhancements when compared to standard single-layer antireflection coatings.However, by embedding the nanoparticles within the dielectric layer, they have the potential to perform better than an antireflection layer and provide enhanced response from both the sub-cells.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW-2052, Australia [2] College of Applied Nuclear Technology and Automation Engineering, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China.

ABSTRACT
Plasmonic nanoparticles located on the illuminated surface of a solar cell can perform the function of an antireflection layer, as well as a scattering layer, facilitating light-trapping. Al nanoparticles have recently been proposed to aid photocurrent enhancements in GaAs photodiodes in the wavelength region of 400-900 nm by mitigating any parasitic absorption losses. Because this spectral region corresponds to the top and middle sub-cell of a typical GaInP/GaInAs/Ge triple junction solar cell, in this work, we investigated the potential of similar periodic Al nanoparticles placed on top of a thin SiO2 spacer layer that can also serve as an antireflection coating at larger thicknesses. The particle period, diameter and the thickness of the oxide layers were optimised for the sub-cells using simulations to achieve the lowest reflection and maximum external quantum efficiencies. Our results highlight the importance of proper reference comparison, and unlike previously published results, raise doubts regarding the effectiveness of Al plasmonic nanoparticles as a suitable front-side scattering medium for broadband efficiency enhancements when compared to standard single-layer antireflection coatings. However, by embedding the nanoparticles within the dielectric layer, they have the potential to perform better than an antireflection layer and provide enhanced response from both the sub-cells.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus