Mode coupling by plasmonic surface scatterers in thin-film silicon solar cells
We demonstrate effective mode coupling by light scattering from periodic Ag nanoparticle arrays printed onto a completed thin-film a-Si:H solar cell. Current-voltage measurements show a photocurrent enhancement of 10% compared to a flat reference cell with a standard antireflection coating. External quantum efficiency measurements for the nanopatterned cells show clear infrared photocurrent enhancement peaks, corresponding to coupling to discrete waveguide modes in the a-Si:H layer. The data are in good agreement with three-dimensional finite element simulations, which are used to further optimize the design. We show that broadband photocurrent enhancement can be obtained over the 450–750 nm spectral range.