CST – Computer Simulation Technology

Embedded metallic nanopatterns for enhanced optical absorption

Embedded metallic nanopatterns for enhanced optical absorption
Fan Ye, Michael J. Burns, Michael J. Naughton* Department of Physics, Boston College, Chestnut Hill MA 02467
Next Generation (Nano) Photonic and Cell Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion II
Volume: 8111, 21 August 2011
811103-1 - 811103-7
Metamaterials, photovoltaics, nanopatterns, simulations, embedded structures
Novel metallic nanopatterns integrated with semiconductor films form optical metamaterials that can enable enhanced absorption. When employed in photovoltaics, such integrated nanostructures may facilitate significant increases in power conversion efficiency. Here, we show that metal nanopatterns embedded within a semiconductor, as opposed to being situated at/on the surface(s), exhibit absorbance enhancements that exceed those yielded by surface patterns. We show in computer simulations and experiments that absorbance in amorphous silicon can be enhanced many-fold for embedded metal nanopatterns (EMN) in ultrathin silicon films in particular wavelength regimes. Compared to plane a-Si films of comparable thickness, a several hundred percent enhancement is observed. This represents a potential route to high efficiency solar power with ultrathin absorbers enhanced by EMN-based optical metamedia.

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