We develop fundamental design principles for increasing the efficiency of solar cells using light trapping by scattering from metal nanoparticles. We show that cylindrical and hemispherical particles lead to much higher path length enhancements than spherical particles, due to enhanced near-field coupling, and that the path length enhancement for an electric point dipole is even higher than the Lambertian value. Silver particles give much higher path length enhancements than gold particles. The scattering cross section of the particles is very sensitive to the thickness of a spacer layer at the substrate, which provides additional tunability in the design of particle arrays.

Appl. Phys. Lett.
Photonic Materials

Catchpole, K. R., & Polman, A. (2008). Design principles for particle plasmon enhanced solar cells. Appl. Phys. Lett., 93(Article number: 191113), 1–3. doi:10.1063/1.3021072