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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.


Calculated EQE spectra of the(a) top and (b) middle sub-cells configured with Al NPs of diameter 80–150 nm.
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f7: Calculated EQE spectra of the(a) top and (b) middle sub-cells configured with Al NPs of diameter 80–150 nm.

Mentions: Because the earlier simulations assumed a fixed diameter of 100 nm and a height of 50 nm for the Al particles based on the reference study11. We fixed the height to 50 nm and varied the diameter of the particles to study the effect of size variation in the response of the sub-cells. Larger and smaller Al NPs with the same period and thickness of AR were investigated. D150H50 and D80H50 were investigated with the optimised values of P375AR59 (see Fig. 7(a)) for the top sub-cell and with P168AR56 (see Fig. 7(b)) for the middle sub-cell. Figure 7 shows that varying the diameter of the NPs did not improve the results, and on the contrary, larger particles performed worse. This is because larger particles would red-shift the resonance to longer wavelengths thus impacting the short wavelength response that the top and middle subcells would be more sensitive to. Thus, based on our calculations, D100H50 with P375AR59 and P168AR56 were regarded as the optimum configurations for the top and middle sub-cells, respectively, with a SiO2-based spacer layer.


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

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

Calculated EQE spectra of the(a) top and (b) middle sub-cells configured with Al NPs of diameter 80–150 nm.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f7: Calculated EQE spectra of the(a) top and (b) middle sub-cells configured with Al NPs of diameter 80–150 nm.
Mentions: Because the earlier simulations assumed a fixed diameter of 100 nm and a height of 50 nm for the Al particles based on the reference study11. We fixed the height to 50 nm and varied the diameter of the particles to study the effect of size variation in the response of the sub-cells. Larger and smaller Al NPs with the same period and thickness of AR were investigated. D150H50 and D80H50 were investigated with the optimised values of P375AR59 (see Fig. 7(a)) for the top sub-cell and with P168AR56 (see Fig. 7(b)) for the middle sub-cell. Figure 7 shows that varying the diameter of the NPs did not improve the results, and on the contrary, larger particles performed worse. This is because larger particles would red-shift the resonance to longer wavelengths thus impacting the short wavelength response that the top and middle subcells would be more sensitive to. Thus, based on our calculations, D100H50 with P375AR59 and P168AR56 were regarded as the optimum configurations for the top and middle sub-cells, respectively, with a SiO2-based spacer layer.

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.