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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2012, Article ID 592754, 8 pages
Research Article

Plasmonic Nanostructure for Enhanced Light Absorption in Ultrathin Silicon Solar Cells

1School of Physical Science and Engineering and Key Laboratory of Material Physics of The Ministry of Education of China, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, China
2Electric and information Engineering College, Pingdingshan University, Henan Province, Pingdingshan 467000, China
3Department of Mathematics and Physics, Zhengzhou Institute of Aeronautical Industry Management, Zhengzhou 450015, China

Received 9 July 2012; Revised 18 September 2012; Accepted 24 September 2012

Academic Editor: Pavel A. Belov

Copyright © 2012 Jinna He et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The performances of thin film solar cells are considerably limited by the low light absorption. Plasmonic nanostructures have been introduced in the thin film solar cells as a possible solution around this issue in recent years. Here, we propose a solar cell design, in which an ultrathin Si film covered by a periodic array of Ag strips is placed on a metallic nanograting substrate. The simulation results demonstrate that the designed structure gives rise to 170% light absorption enhancement over the full solar spectrum with respect to the bared Si thin film. The excited multiple resonant modes, including optical waveguide modes within the Si layer, localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of Ag stripes, and surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) arising from the bottom grating, and the coupling effect between LSPR and SPP modes through an optimization of the array periods are considered to contribute to the significant absorption enhancement. This plasmonic solar cell design paves a promising way to increase light absorption for thin film solar cell applications.