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Plasmonic Light-Trapping Concept for Nanoabsorber Photovoltaics

Brady, Brendan and Steenhof, Volker and Nickel, Benedikt and Blackburn, Arthur M. and Vehse, Martin and Brolo, Alexandre G. (2019) Plasmonic Light-Trapping Concept for Nanoabsorber Photovoltaics. ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2 (3), pp. 2255-2262. American Chemical Society (ACS). doi: 10.1021/acsaem.9b00039. ISSN 2574-0962.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaem.9b00039


Plasmonic nanoparticles were once sought to harness enormous potential for light-trapping in inorganic thin-film photovoltaics. However, the incorporation of such metallic nanostructures near solar cell absorbing layers without inducing overall harm to performance has proven to be a major obstacle. Herein, we demonstrate a solar cell design which integrates a periodic array of plasmonic Ag nanoparticles within the p-i-n structure of a-Ge:H ultrathin optical cavity solar cells. The plasmonic solar cells showed a 33% short-circuit current density increase relative to geometrically identical cells where the Ag nanoparticles were replaced by SiO2. We experimentally mapped the localized surface plasmon excitations on the surface of Ag nanoparticles embedded in the optoelectronic device using electron energy loss spectroscopy and correlated the results to the device performance. Using three-dimensional optical simulations, we further explored the light-trapping mechanisms responsible for the observed performance enhancements. The nanostructured cells produced localized and tunable charge carrier generation enhancements while maintaining the planar geometry of the ultrathin absorbing layer. Therefore, this design concept provides a direct and useful avenue for initial light-trapping efforts in next-generation photovoltaics based on ultrathin nanoabsorbers, such as few layer transition metal dichalcogenides.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/132403/
Document Type:Article
Title:Plasmonic Light-Trapping Concept for Nanoabsorber Photovoltaics
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Brady, BrendanCentre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology, University of VictoriaUNSPECIFIED
Steenhof, VolkerDLR Institute of Networked Energy SystemsUNSPECIFIED
Nickel, BenediktDLR Institute of Networked Energy SystemsUNSPECIFIED
Blackburn, Arthur M.Centre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology, University of VictoriaUNSPECIFIED
Vehse, MartinUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0578-6121
Brolo, Alexandre G.Centre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology, University of VictoriaUNSPECIFIED
Date:11 February 2019
Journal or Publication Title:ACS Applied Energy Materials
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 2255-2262
Publisher:American Chemical Society (ACS)
Keywords:plasmonic solar cell, metallic nanoparticles, photovoltaic devices, surface-plasmon resonance, TMDC, light-trapping, nanophotonics, localized surface plasmons, photovoltaics, solar cells 
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Technology, Innovation and Society
HGF - Program Themes:Renewable Energy and Material Resources for Sustainable Futures - Integrating at Different Scales
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SY - Energy Systems Analysis
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Energy Systems Technology (old)
Location: Oldenburg
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Networked Energy Systems > Urban and Residential Technologies
Deposited By: Kröner, Michael
Deposited On:16 Dec 2019 12:31
Last Modified:09 Apr 2020 14:14

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