Nanomolded buried light-scattering (BLiS) back-reflectors using dielectric nanoparticles for light harvesting in thin-film silicon solar cells
Department of Physics and I3N, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2 IMM-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy − iNANO, Aarhus University, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
4 Department of Physics, Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kollam 690525, Kerala, India
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Received in final form: 19 November 2019
Accepted: 17 December 2019
Published online: 4 February 2020
The article presents a nanoparticle-based buried light-scattering (BLiS) back-reflector design realized through a simplified nanofabrication technique for the purpose of light-management in solar cells. The BLiS structure consists of a flat silver back-reflector with an overlying light-scattering bilayer which is made of a TiO2 dielectric nanoparticles layer with micron-sized inverted pyramidal cavities, buried under a flat-topped silicon nanoparticles layer. The optical properties of this BLiS back-reflector show high broadband and wide angular distribution of diffuse light-scattering. The efficient light-scattering by the buried inverted pyramid back-reflector is shown to effectively improve the short-circuit-current density and efficiency of the overlying n-i-p amorphous silicon solar cells up to 14% and 17.5%, respectively, compared to the reference flat solar cells. A layer of TiO2 nanoparticles with exposed inverted pyramid microstructures shows equivalent light scattering but poor fill factors in the solar cells, indicating that the overlying smooth growth interface in the BLiS back-reflector helps to maintain a good fill factor. The study demonstrates the advantage of spatial separation of the light-trapping and the semiconductor growth layers in the photovoltaic back-reflector without sacrificing the optical benefit.
Key words: inverted pyramids / light management / photovoltaics / thin-film solar cells / nanoparticles / nanomolding
© D. Desta et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2020
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