E3S Web Conf.
Volume 16, 201711th European Space Power Conference
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||Power Generation Posters|
|Published online||23 May 2017|
Enhancement of Solar Cell Efficiency for Space Applications Using Two-Dimensional Photonic Crystals
IMM-Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid (CNM-CSIC), Isaac Newton 8, PTM, E-28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain
The effects of having a nanopatterned photonic crystal (PC) structure in the surface of a solar cell can be usefully employed to increase the energy conversion efficiency, which may be critical for space applications. In this work, we have measured the reflectance (R) and transmittance (T) of thin InP layers (270 nm thick) bonded to a glass substrate and nanopatterned with holes down to the glass in a triangular symmetry lattice separated by a lattice parameter a=450nm and maintaining a value of r/a=0.32. The optical spectra were measured with angular resolution in the range from 0.55 to 2.0 eV. There are noticeable changes in the spectra of the PC sample, with minima and maxima of the R and T clearly shifted with respect to the unpatterned sample, and new features that alter significantly the overall lineshape of each spectrum. Those features correspond in a first approximation to the well-known Fano-like resonances of the discrete photonic modes of the PC lattice and they have been used before to determine experimentally the position of the PC bands. The observed features can be translated to the optical absorption (A) defined as A=1-R-T provided there are low or negligible scattering effects. The generated absorption spectra show enhancements above and below the electronic band edge of the InP that can be correlated with the photonic band structure. Even using a thicker semiconductor layer, the abovementioned effects can justify to use a photonic crystal front surface with sub-wavelength motifs. In this way, we have fabricated and characterized a complete Ge/InGaP solar cell with a 2D-PC on its front surface. An increase in the photocurrent up to a 8% was achieved on a solar cell with a 40% of its surface covered with a PC pattern. Enhancements of the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of 22% for a wide range of wavelengths and up to a 46% for specific wavelengths have been measured, without use of any anti-reflection coating (ARC). A correlation with the area of photonic crystal patterning has been clearly observed. Finally, a low-cost nanofabrication procedure to obtain high quality two-dimensional photonic crystals in large areas (up to square cm) is described.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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