Funneling and guiding effects in ultrathin aSi-H solar cells using one-dimensional dielectric subwavelength gratings

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Ultrathin amorphous silicon hydrogenated (aSi-H) solar cells grown on a one-dimensional (1-D) dielectric subwavelength gratings improve the short circuit current by a factor of more than 51% when compared with conventional, flat ultrathin aSi-H devices. This improvement is possible due to several mechanisms. In addition the increase in exposed area caused by the nanostructured surface, a reliable computational electromagnetic evaluation of the interaction of the solar spectrum with the cell structure demonstrates that absorption at the active layer is enhanced and also reflectivity is decreased. In addition, the absorbed power at the nonactive layers is larger, helping to increase the temperature and mitigate the Staebler–Wronski effect. The detailed analysis of the power flux inside the structure has also shown that funneling and guiding mechanism are at play, increasing the optical path within the active layer that produces a better performance of the cell.
Paper 16125 received Nov. 24, 2016; accepted for publication Feb. 10, 2017; published online Mar. 9, 2017. Copyright 2017. Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.