A Feasibility study for external control on self-organized production of plasmonic enhancement interfaces for solar cells

Zolfaghari Borra, Mona
The present study is about the improvement of the energy conversion efficiency of solar cells in which plasmonic light-trapping approach has been investigated. In this study, metal nanoparticles are allowed to form in a self-organized fashion on both flat and textured full scale monocrystalline silicon solar cell. These metal nanoparticles with strong optical interaction cross-sections at localized plasmonic resonance energies, improve coupling of the incoming light into the active area of solar cells by wavelength tailored scattering. The decoration of metal nanoparticle by the self-organized mechanism of dewetting is utilized as a suitable method for plasmonic interface integration to large area full-scale solar cell devices. In this bottom-up approach, the self-organization process of plasmonically active metal nanoparticles on solar cell surface only requires metal evaporation and a gentle thermal treatment step and is therefore a low cost fabrication technique. Formation of silver nanoparticles was preferred due to strong plasmon resonance of silver in the solar spectrum. Reflection measurements are performed both on flat and textured silicon cells in order to investigate the local plasmonic resonances of the metal nanoparticles. The effect of particle’s size, thickness of silicon nitride anti-reflection coating layer, and dewetting time are investigated by reflection measurements and the shift of plasmon resonance peak position. It is found that surface roughness, annealing time, annealing temperature and varying silicon nitride’s thickness can be used as mechanisms to control the size distribution, shape of the resultant nano-islands and solar cell efficiency. The findings on the most suitable nanoparticle system production parameters by this method, depends on the applied substrate properties which are expected to guide further applications of plasmonic interfaces and also to the other kinds of device structures in the ultimate quest for attaining affordable high efficiency solar cells.


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Citation Formats
M. Zolfaghari Borra, “A Feasibility study for external control on self-organized production of plasmonic enhancement interfaces for solar cells,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.