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Loss mitigation in plasmonic solar cells: aluminium nanoparticles for broadband photocurrent enhancements in GaAs photodiodes

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      We illustrate the important trade-off between far-field scattering effects, which have the potential to provide increased optical path length over broad bands, and parasitic absorption due to the excitation of localized surface plasmon resonances in metal nanoparticle arrays. Via detailed comparison of photocurrent enhancements given by Au, Ag and Al nanostructures on thin-film GaAs devices we reveal that parasitic losses can be mitigated through a careful choice of scattering medium. Absorption at the plasmon resonance in Au and Ag structures occurs in the visible spectrum, impairing device performance. In contrast, exploiting Al nanoparticle arrays results in a blue shift of the resonance, enabling the first demonstration of truly broadband plasmon enhanced photocurrent and a 22% integrated efficiency enhancement.

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      Most cited references 30

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      Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices.

      The emerging field of plasmonics has yielded methods for guiding and localizing light at the nanoscale, well below the scale of the wavelength of light in free space. Now plasmonics researchers are turning their attention to photovoltaics, where design approaches based on plasmonics can be used to improve absorption in photovoltaic devices, permitting a considerable reduction in the physical thickness of solar photovoltaic absorber layers, and yielding new options for solar-cell design. In this review, we survey recent advances at the intersection of plasmonics and photovoltaics and offer an outlook on the future of solar cells based on these principles.
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        Plasmonic solar cells

         K Catchpole,  A Polman (2008)
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          Symmetry breaking in plasmonic nanocavities: subradiant LSPR sensing and a tunable Fano resonance.

          A metallic nanostructure consisting of a disk inside a thin ring supports superradiant and very narrow subradiant modes. Symmetry breaking in this structure enables a coupling between plasmon modes of differing multipolar order, resulting in a tunable Fano resonance. The LSPR sensitivities of the subradiant and Fano resonances are predicted to be among the largest yet for individual nanostructures.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Physics, Imperial College London , London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom
            [2 ]Institute of Modern Optical Technologies, Soochow University , Suzhou, Jiangsu 215006, P. R. China
            [3 ]IMEC , Kapeldreef 75, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
            [4 ]Department of Physics and Astronomy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven , Celestijnenlaan 200, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
            [5 ]Institute of Engineering Innovation, School of Engineering, University of Tokyo , Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
            Author notes
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            07 October 2013
            : 3
            Copyright © 2013, Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit




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