Broadband absorption enhancement in ultra-thin crystalline Si solar cells by incorporating metallic and dielectric nanostructures in the back reflector

Samarth Jain, Valerie Depauw, Vladimir D. Miljkovic, Alexander Dmitriev, Christos Trompoukis, Ivan Gordon, Pol Van Dorpe, Ounsi El Daif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a back reflecting scheme in order to enhance the maximum achievable current in one micron thick crystalline silicon solar cells. We perform 3D numerical investigations of the scattering properties of metallic nanostructures located at the back side and optimize them for enhancing absorption in the silicon layer. We validate our numerical results experimentally and also compare the absorption enhancement in the solar cell structure, both with quasi-periodic and random metallic nanostructures. We have looked at the interplay between the metallic nanostructures and an integrated back reflector. We show that the combination of metallic nanoparticles and a metallic reflector results in significant parasitic absorption. We compared this to another implementation based on titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which act as a Lambertian reflector of light. Our simulation and experimental results show that this proposed configuration results in reduced absorption losses and in broadband enhancement of absorption for ultra-thin solar cells, paving the way to an optimal back reflector for thin film photovoltaics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144-1156
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015



  • crystalline silicon
  • nanoparticles
  • optics
  • plasmons
  • solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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