, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 107-113

Surface Plasmon Enhancement of Optical Absorption in Thin-Film Silicon Solar Cells

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Abstract

Strong electromagnetic field enhancement that occurs under conditions of the surface plasmon excitation in metallic nanoparticles deposited on a semiconductor surface is a very efficient and promising tool for increasing the optical absorption within semiconductor solar cells and, hence, their photocurrent response. The enhancement of the optical absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells via the excitation of localized surface plasmons in spherical silver nanoparticles is investigated. Using the effective medium model, the effect of the nanoparticle size and the surface coverage on that enhancement is analyzed. The optimum configuration and the nanoparticle parameters leading to the maximum enhancement in the optical absorption and the photocurrent response in a single p-n junction silicon cell are obtained. The effect of coupling between the silicon layer and the surface plasmon fields on the efficiency of the above enhancement is quantified as well.