How much can guided modes enhance absorption in thin solar cells?

Peter N. Saeta, Vivian E. Ferry, Domenico Pacifici, Jeremy N. Munday, Harry A. Atwater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Absorption enhancement in thin metal-backed solar cells caused by dipóle scatterers embedded in the absorbing layer is studied using a semi-analytical approach. The method accounts for changes in the radiation rate produced by layers above and below the dipóle, and treats incoherently the subsequent scattering of light in guided modes from other dipoles. We find large absorption enhancements for strongly coupled dipoles, exceeding the ergodic limit in some configurations involving lossless dipoles. An antireflection-coated 100-nm layer of aSi:H on Ag absorbs up to 87% of incident above-gap light. Thin layers of both strong and weak absorbers show similar strongly enhanced absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20975-20990
Number of pages16
JournalOptics Express
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2009


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