Plasmonic solar cells

Bringing down the cost of electricity generated from solar radiation using photovoltaics has been the focus of intense investigations in recent years. By employing light trapping techniques to increase the path-length of light, the total absorption inside a thin absorber layer can be enhanced. Light trapping can be achieved by depositing random arrays of metal nanoparticles such as gold or silver on the solar cell surface. Light incident on the nanoparticles is scattered strongly due to excitation of localised surface plasmons and the light is then absorbed by the solar cell. Plasmonic light trapping can be incorporated into the solar cells after they have been essentially fabricated and hence does not alter the basic device characteristics, other than enhancing the overall efficiency.


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