, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 1015–1023 | Cite as

Ag and Sn Nanoparticles to Enhance the Near-Infrared Absorbance of a-Si:H Thin Films

  • D. Gaspar
  • A. C Pimentel
  • M. J. Mendes
  • T. Mateus
  • B. P. Falcão
  • J. P. Leitão
  • J. Soares
  • A. Araújo
  • A. Vicente
  • S. A. Filonovich
  • H. Águas
  • R. Martins
  • I. Ferreira


Silver (Ag) and tin (Sn) nanoparticles (NPs) were deposited by thermal evaporation onto heated glass substrates with a good control of size, shape and surface coverage. This process has the advantage of allowing the fabrication of thin-film solar cells with incorporated NPs without vacuum break, since it does not require chemical processes or post-deposition annealing. The X-ray diffraction, TEM and SEM properties are correlated with optical measurements and amorphous silicon hydrogenated (a-Si:H) films deposited on top of both types of NPs show enhanced absorbance in the near-infrared. The results are interpreted with electromagnetic modelling performed with Mie theory. A broad emission in the near-infrared region is considerably increased after covering the Ag nanoparticles with an a-Si:H layer. Such effect may be of interest for possible down-conversion mechanisms in novel photovoltaic devices.


Surface plasmons Silver and tin nanoparticles Light trapping a-Si:H 

JEL classification

61.46.Df–Structure of nanoparticles 78.67.Bf–Optical properties of nanoscale materials and structures (nanoparticles) 81.15.Jj–Film deposition, electron beam-assisted deposition 



The authors acknowledge Strategic Project PEst-C/CTM/LA0025/2011, project PTDC/CTM/099719/2008 and the colleagues Joana Vaz Pinto and Luis Pereira for the XRD and SEM measurements. M. J. Mendes also acknowledges funding from the EU FP7 Marie Curie Action (FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN) through the PROPHET project (Grant No. 264687).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Gaspar
    • 1
  • A. C Pimentel
    • 1
  • M. J. Mendes
    • 2
  • T. Mateus
    • 1
  • B. P. Falcão
    • 3
  • J. P. Leitão
    • 3
  • J. Soares
    • 3
  • A. Araújo
    • 1
  • A. Vicente
    • 1
  • S. A. Filonovich
    • 1
  • H. Águas
    • 1
  • R. Martins
    • 1
  • I. Ferreira
    • 1
  1. 1.CENIMAT/I3N, Departamento de Ciência dos Materiais, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, FCTUniversidade Nova de Lisboa and CEMOP-UNINOVACaparicaPortugal
  2. 2.MATIS CNR-IMMCataniaItaly
  3. 3.Departamento de Física/I3NUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

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