We present an approach to spectrum splitting for photovoltaics that utilizes the resonant optical properties of nanostructures for simultaneous voltage enhancement and spatial separation of different colors of light. Using metal–insulator–metal resonators commonly used in broadband metamaterial absorbers we show theoretically that output voltages can be enhanced significantly compared to single-junction devices. However, the approach is general and works for any type of resonator with a large absorption cross section. Due to its resonant nature, the spectrum splitting occurs within only a fraction of the wavelength, as opposed to traditional spectrum splitting methods, where many wavelengths are required. Combining nanophotonic spectrum splitting with other nanophotonic approaches to voltage enhancements, such as angle restriction and concentration, may lead to highly efficient but deeply subwavelength photovoltaic devices.

ACS Photonics
Nanoscale Solar Cells

Mann, S., & Garnett, E. (2015). Resonant nanophotonic spectrum splitting for ultrathin multijunction solar cells. ACS Photonics, 2(7), 816–821. doi:10.1021/acsphotonics.5b00260