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5 November 2010 Efficiency improvement in nanorod amorphous silicon thin film with ultrathin metal electrode for photovoltaic application
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In recent years, photovoltaic cells have attracted much attention and extensively been studied by many groups. The amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film solar cells have the advantages of lower cost, less material consumption and potential for the building-integrated applications although the conversion efficiency is usually below 10%. In this paper, we show an a-Si thin film solar cell with periodical nanorod structures for light trapping enhancement and an ultrathin silver film as transparent electrode with a lower resistance for performance improvement. In such a design, the conversion efficiency can be greatly improved. The periodicity and duty ratio of the nanorods were optimized to enhance the diffraction of the light within 500-900 nm into guided modes in the a-Si thin film and thus the total optical absorption can be enhanced. Furthermore, a 5-nm ultrathin metal film was used as a transparent electrode to replace the conventional transparent conductive oxide while having a lower sheet resistance of 9.6 Ω/ and a transmittance from 90% to 70% within the spectral range from 300 nm to 900 nm. Our design was analyzed by using the full-wave finiteelement method to calculate the optical absorption of the incident sunlight in the a-Si thin film. According to the simulation results, the light absorption can be relatively enhanced by 69.6% and the total conversion efficiency can be relatively improved by 41.6% compared to the conventional thin film a-Si solar cell without nanorod structures.
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Chun-Chieh Chin, Ya-Han Ye, and Ding-Wei Huang "Efficiency improvement in nanorod amorphous silicon thin film with ultrathin metal electrode for photovoltaic application", Proc. SPIE 7848, Holography, Diffractive Optics, and Applications IV, 78480E (5 November 2010);

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