We experimentally demonstrate photocurrent enhancement in ultrathin Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe) solar cells with absorber layers of 460 nm by nanoscale dielectric light scattering patterns printed by substrate conformal imprint lithography. We show that patterning the front side of the device with TiO2 nanoparticle arrays results in a small photocurrent enhancement in almost the entire 400–1200 nm spectral range due to enhanced light coupling into the cell. Three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain simulations are in good agreement with external quantum efficiency measurements. Patterning the Mo/CIGSe back interface using SiO2 nanoparticles leads to strongly enhanced light trapping, increasing the efficiency from 11.1% for a flat to 12.3% for a patterned cell. Simulations show that optimizing the array geometry could further improve light trapping. Including nanoparticles at the Mo/CIGSe interface leads to substantially reduced parasitic absorption in the Mo back contact. Parasitic absorption in the back contact can be further reduced by fabricating CIGSe cells on top of a SiO2-patterned In2O3:Sn (ITO) back contact. Simulations show that these semitransparent cells have similar spectrally averaged reflection and absorption in the CIGSe active layer as a Mo-based patterned cell, demonstrating that the absorption losses in the Mo can be partially turned into transmission through the semitransparent geometry.

ACS Nano
Photonic Materials

van Lare, M.C, Yin, G, Polman, A, & Schmid, M. (2015). Light Coupling and Trapping in Ultrathin Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cells Using Dielectric Scattering Patterns. ACS Nano, 9(10), 9603–9613. doi:10.1021/acsnano.5b04091