Absorption Enhancement in Si Solar Cells by Incorporation of Metallic Nanoparticles: Improved COMSOL Numerical Study Including Quantum Corrections
K. Kluczyk, Z. Krzemińska and W.A. Jacak
Department of Quantum Technologies, Faculty of Fundamental Problems of Technology, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Wyb. S. Wyspiańskiego 27, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
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One of the crucial parameters affecting the solar cell efficiency is the absorption rate versus solar spectrum. Metallic nanoparticles deposited on the cell surface can mediate this process. Main mechanisms of absorption enhancement due to metallic nanoparticle plasmons were proposed: (1) the scattering of incident solar light causing increase of the optical path length inside active layer and local enhancement of the electric field; (2) near field coupling between plasmon and semiconductor and the direct generation of electron-hole pairs in the semiconductor. The field concentration effect can be described by classical electrodynamic theory, the coupling between metallic nanoparticle plasmons and band electrons in semiconductor substrate must be captured upon quantum mechanics. In this paper we took the challenge to develop fast and reliable method for calculation of device optical properties by application of COMSOL system appropriately configured to take into account these quantum effects, via the quantum modification of the dielectric function of semiconductor substrate and metallic components. The presented results indicate that the efficiency of energy transfer due to near field coupling of metallic nanoparticle plasmons with semiconductor substrate is much more effective than the absorption increase due to metallic nanoparticle plasmons scattering only.

DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.132.393
topics: solar cells, solar energy harvesting, surface plasmons, metallic nanoparticles