Simulation and Analysis of Optical Properties of Thin-Film Solar Cells

Third party funded individual grant

Start date : 01.06.2010

End date : 01.03.2013

Project details

Short description

Silicon thin film solar cells are an innovative technology to produce solar cells. The
production cost of these cells is lower than for classical solar cells, since the
production process requires less energy and temperature. Furthermore, fast and
modern depositing machines decrease the production time. However the efficiency of
thin film solar cells is lower than for classical solar cells. Therefore, a very important
research topic is to increase the efficiency of thin film solar cells.
It is well-known that the optical properties of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and
microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) thin-film solar cells have a significant influence on
the total efficiency of these solar cells. Thus, an important issue is to optimize both
light in-coupling and light trapping to obtain a higher efficiency of thin film solar cells.
The design, development, and test of new solar cell models is very time consuming.
Therefore suitable simulation techniques are needed to analyze the optical properties
of thin-film solar cells.

A new approach to increase the optical efficiency of thin film solar cells is to insert silver
nano-particles (see [2] and [3]) in the layer of silicon. The aim of the research project is to
analyze why such an approach increases the efficiency of the solar cells. To this end,
numerical simulations of the incoming optical wave in the thin film solar cell are needed. Such
a simulation requires large and small scale simulations by a suitable simulation tool.


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