Absorbing photonic crystals for silicon thin-film solar cells: Design, fabrication and experimental investigation

Xianqin Meng, Guillaume Gomard, Ounsi El Daif, Emmanuel Drouard, Regis Orobtchouk, Anne Kaminski, Alain Fave, Mustapha Lemiti, Alexei Abramov, Pere Roca I Cabarrocas, Christian Seassal

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53 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present the integration of an absorbing photonic crystal within a thin-film photovoltaic solar cell. Optical simulations performed on a complete solar cell revealed that patterning the hydrogenated amorphous silicon active layer as a 2D photonic crystal membrane enabled to increase its integrated absorption by 28 % between 300 and 720 nm, comparing to a similar but unpatterned stack. In order to fabricate such promising cells, we developed a high throughput process based on holographic lithography and reactive ion etching. The influences of the parameters taking part in those processes on the obtained patterns are discussed. Optical measurements performed on the resulting photonized solar cell structures underline the regularity of the 2D pattern and a significant absorption increase above 550 nm, similarly to what is observed on the simulated absorption spectra. Moreover, our patterned cells are found to be robust with regards to the angle of incidence of the light.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Holographic lithography
  • Photonic crystals
  • Photovoltaics
  • Thin-film devices and applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

Cite this

Meng, X., Gomard, G., El Daif, O., Drouard, E., Orobtchouk, R., Kaminski, A., Fave, A., Lemiti, M., Abramov, A., Roca I Cabarrocas, P., & Seassal, C. (2011). Absorbing photonic crystals for silicon thin-film solar cells: Design, fabrication and experimental investigation. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 95(SUPPL. 1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2010.11.020