Thermodynamic limits of nanophotonic light trapping in thin film silicon solar cells1

Brian R. Maynard, E. A. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We have extended an earlier thermodynamic treatment of light-trapping in lattice-textured solar cells to higher absorptances. This treatment is used to calculate the quantum efficiency spectra and short-circuit current densities JSC for thin-film silicon solar cells with ideal lattice textures. An optimal triangular lattice period of 900 nm yields a calculated JSC that is 2 mA/cm2 larger than for ideal random textures in a 1000 nm thick cell. We compare the calculations to recent experiments with periodically textured cells. While the experimental cells give JSC values that are comparable to the best cells with conventional textures, they do not show the features associated with the prediction of higher JSC. We discuss the role of imperfections in the periodic texturing, and suggest that cells used with solar tracking may realize the predicted JSC improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-912
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Physics
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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