We demonstrate effective mode coupling by light scattering from periodic Ag nanoparticle arrays printed onto a completed thin-film a-Si:H solar cell. Current-voltage measurements show a photocurrent enhancement of 10% compared to a flat reference cell with a standard antireflection coating. External quantum efficiency measurements for the nanopatterned cells show clear infrared photocurrent enhancement peaks, corresponding to coupling to discrete waveguide modes in the a-Si:H layer. The data are in good agreement with three-dimensional finite element simulations, which are used to further optimize the design. We show that broadband photocurrent enhancement can be obtained over the 450–750 nm spectral range.

Appl. Phys. Lett.
Photonic Materials

van Lare, M. C., Lenzmann, F. O., Verschuuren, M., & Polman, A. (2012). Mode coupling by plasmonic surface scatterers in thin-film silicon solar cells. Appl. Phys. Lett., 101(22, Article number: 221110), 1–4. doi:10.1063/1.4767997