High Performance Computing for the Simulation of Thin-Film Solar Cells

  • C. JandlEmail author
  • K. Hertel
  • W. Dewald
  • C. Pflaum


To optimize the optical efficiency of silicon thin-film solar cells, the absorption and reflection of sunlight in these solar cells has to be simulated. Since the thickness of the layers of thin-film solar cells is of the size of the wavelength, a rigorous simulation by solving Maxwell’s equations is important. However, large geometries of the cells described by atomic force microscope (AFM) data lead to a large computational domain and a large number of grid points in the resulting discretization. To meet the computational amount of such simulations, high performance computing (HPC) is needed. In this paper, we compare different high performance implementations of a software for solving Maxwell’s equations on different HPC machines. Simulation results for calculating the optical efficiency of thin-film solar cells are presented.


Atomic Force Microscope Solar Cell High Performance Computing Silicon Solar Cell Transparent Conductive Oxide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Haase, C. and Stiebig, H.: Optical Properties of Thin-film Solar Cells with Grating Couplers. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research of Applications 14(7), 629–641 (2006) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Haase, C. and Stiebig, H.: Thin-film Silicon Solar Cells with Efficient Periodic Light Trapping Texture. Applied Physics Letters, 92 (2008) Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hecht, E.: Optics. Addison Wesley (2001) Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Krc̆, J., Zeman, M., Smole, F., Topic̆, M.: Study of Enhanced Light Scattering in Microcrystalline Silicon Solar Cells. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 338–340, 673–676 (2004) Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Krc̆, J., Smole, F., Topic̆, M.: Optical Modelling of Thin-film Silicon Solar Cells Deposited on Textured Substrates. Thin Solid Films 451–452, 298–302 (2004) Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Müller, J., Rech, B., Springer, J., Vanecek, M.: TCO and Light Trapping in Silicon Thin Film Solar Cells. Solar Engergy 77, 917–930 (2004) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pflaum, C. and Rahimi, Z.: An Iterative Solver for the Finite-Difference Frequency-Domain (FDFD) Method for Simulation of Materials with Negative Permittivity. Submitted to Numerical Linear Algebra with Applications (2009) Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sittinger, V., Dewald, W., Szyszka, B.: Large Area Deposition of Al-doped ZnO for Si-based Thin Film Solar Cells by Magnetron Sputtering. Proceedings of Glass Peformance Day 2009. Solar and Glass Technology – Market and Applications, 1–5 (2009) Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Taflove, A. and Hagness, S.: Computational Electrodynamics — The Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method. Artech House, Boston, London (2000) zbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT) and Department of Computer Science 10University Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films ISTBraunschweigGermany

Personalised recommendations