Nanostructured moth-eye antireflection schemes for silicon solar cells are simulated using rigorous coupled wave analysis and compared to traditional thin film coatings. The design of the moth-eye arrays is optimized for application to a laboratory cell (air–silicon interface) and an encapsulated cell (EVA-silicon interface), and the optimization accounts for the solar spectrum incident on the silicon interface in both cells, and the spectral response of both types of cell. The optimized moth-eye designs are predicted to outperform an optimized double layer thin film coating by approximately 2% for the laboratory cell and approximately 3% for the encapsulated cell. The predicted performance of the silicon moth-eye under encapsulation is particularly remarkable as it exhibits losses of only 0.6% compared to an ideal AR surface.
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