Thin Nanostructured Silicon Solar Cells Using Optical Confinement
Photovoltaics must be under $1/W to compete with other forms of commercially available electric power generation devices. Achieving this price performance target is no easy task, as the solar cell module, power electronics, and balance of systems costs must all be addressed. Here we address the challenges by utilizing low-cost thin upgraded metallurgical grade silicon on flexible substrates. However, silicon < 100μm is known to suffer from poor optical absorptivity. One approach that enhances light absorption is to incorporate light trapping features on top of the solar cell. Here, we we will utilize a multi-plasmonic layer as an efficient light trapping material on ultrathin upgraded metallurgical-grade polycrystalline silicon solar cells. Detailed studies of electrical and optical properties of these multi-plasmonic layers on upgraded metallurgical-grade silicon solar cells will elucidate the light trapping contribution of each plasmonic layer. Additionally, FDTD simulations will be performed to yield further insight.