Enhanced light trapping in solar cells with a meta-mirror following generalized Snell’s law

  • Khan M
  • Wang X
  • Bermel P
 et al. 
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Abstract

As the performance of photovoltaic cells approaches the Shockley-Queisser limit, appropriate schemes are needed to minimize the losses without compromising the current performance. In this paper we propose a planar absorber-mirror light trapping structure where a conventional mirror is replaced by a meta-mirror with asymmetric light scattering properties. The meta-mirror is tailored to have reflection in asymmetric modes that stay outside the escape cone of the dielectric, hence trapping light with unit probability. Ideally, the meta-mirror can be designed to have such light trapping for any angle of incidence onto the absorber-mirror structure. We illustrate the concept by using a simple gap-plasmon meta-mirror. Even though the response of the mirror is non-ideal with the unwanted scattering modes reducing the light absorption, we observe an order of magnitude enhancement compared to single pass absorption in the absorber. The bandwidth of the enhancement can be matched with the range of wavelengths close to the solar cell absorber band-edge where improved light absorption is required.

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Authors

  • M. Ryyan Khan

  • Xufeng Wang

  • Peter Bermel

  • Muhammad A. Alam

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