Micrometer-thin crystalline-silicon solar cells integrating numerically optimized 2-d photonic crystals

Valerie Depauw, Xianqin Meng, Ounsi El Daif, Guillaume Gomard, Loic Lalouat, Emmanuel Drouard, Christos Trompoukis, Alain Fave, Christian Seassal, Ivan Gordon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    A 2-D photonic crystal was integrated experimentally into a thin-film crystalline-silicon solar cell of 1-μm thickness, after numerical optimization maximizing light absorption in the active material. The photonic crystal boosted the short-circuit current of the cell, but it also damaged its open-circuit voltage and fill factor, which led to an overall decrease in performances. Comparisons between modeled and actual optical behaviors of the cell, and between ideal and actual morphologies, show the global robustness of the nanostructure to experimental deviations, but its particular sensitivity to the conformality of the top coatings and the spread in pattern dimensions, which should not be neglected in the optical model. As for the electrical behavior, the measured internal quantum efficiency shows the strong parasitic absorptions from the transparent conductive oxide and from the back-reflector, as well as the negative impact of the nanopattern on surface passivation. Our exemplifying case, thus, illustrates and experimentally confirms two recommendations for future integration of surface nanostructures for light trapping purposes: 1) the necessity to optimize absorption not for the total stack but for the single active material, and 2) the necessity to avoid damage to the active material by pattern etching.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6655881
    Pages (from-to)215-223
    Number of pages9
    JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


    • Finite-difference time domain (FDTD) simulation
    • heterojunction
    • laser holographic lithography
    • light trapping
    • nanophotonics
    • photonic crystals
    • photovoltaic cells
    • thin-film crystalline silicon

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Depauw, V., Meng, X., El Daif, O., Gomard, G., Lalouat, L., Drouard, E., Trompoukis, C., Fave, A., Seassal, C., & Gordon, I. (2014). Micrometer-thin crystalline-silicon solar cells integrating numerically optimized 2-d photonic crystals. IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 4(1), 215-223. [6655881]. https://doi.org/10.1109/JPHOTOV.2013.2286521