Absorbing photonic crystals for mono-crystalline silicon thin film solar cells

Xianqin Meng, Valérie Depauw, Guillaume Gomard, Ounsi El Daif, Christos Trompoukis, Emmanuel Drouard, Cécile Jamois, Alain Fave, Frédéric Dross, Ivan Gordon, Christian Seassal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this paper, we present the integration of an absorbing photonic crystal within a monocrystalline silicon thin film solar cell stack. Optical simulations performed on a complete solar cell revealed that patterning the epitaxial monocrystalline silicon active layer as a 1D and 2D photonic crystal enabled to increase its integrated absorption by 38%rel and 50%rel in the whole 300-1100 nm range, compared to a similar but unpatterned stack. In order to fabricate such promising cells, a specific fabrication process based on holographic lithography, inductively coupled plasma etching and reactive ion etching has been developed and implemented to obtain such photonic crystal patterned solar cells. Optical measurements performed on the patterned stacks highlight the significant absorption enhancement, as expected by simulation. A more advanced structuration combining a front and a rear 1D binary photonic patterning with different periods is designed, enabling a 60% abs larger absorption in silicon.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventPhotonic Crystal Materials and Devices X - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 16 Apr 201219 Apr 2012


OtherPhotonic Crystal Materials and Devices X



  • Crystalline silicon
  • Diffraction gratings
  • Holographic lithography
  • Photonic crystals
  • Photovoltaics
  • Thin-film devices and applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Meng, X., Depauw, V., Gomard, G., Daif, O. E., Trompoukis, C., Drouard, E., Jamois, C., Fave, A., Dross, F., Gordon, I., & Seassal, C. (2012). Absorbing photonic crystals for mono-crystalline silicon thin film solar cells. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 8425). [84250R] https://doi.org/10.1117/12.922428