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18 May 2010 Photonic crystals in solar cells: a simulation approach
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Diffractive effects have the potential to greatly increase light trapping in solar cells. The simulation of solar cells with diffractive elements is, however, difficult. The reason for this difficulty is that wave optical considerations are required. Typically, for solar cell simulations a ray tracing approach complemented by a transfer matrix algorithm is sufficient to simulate the optical properties. In this paper we present a more fundamental method to consider wave optical effects for solar cells. The optical characteristics of a solar cell are externally simulated using a wave optical approach and are used as input parameters for a simulation of the electrical characteristics. This coupled method is tested on an exemplary system; a solar cell with a backside diffractive grating. In a first step we show that substituting the optical parameters by externally simulated ones is expedient. Furthermore we show that diffractive effects, which hitherto could not be considered, can be made accessible for solar cell simulations. Additionally, the potential for a grating within a solar cell was investigated, resulting in an increase of 1% efficiency absolute for a crystalline silicon solar cell.
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Marius Peters, Marc Rüdiger, Martin Hermle, and Benedikt Blaesi "Photonic crystals in solar cells: a simulation approach", Proc. SPIE 7725, Photonics for Solar Energy Systems III, 772514 (18 May 2010);

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