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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 639458, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/639458
Research Article

Spin Coated Plasmonic Nanoparticle Interfaces for Photocurrent Enhancement in Thin Film Si Solar Cells

1Department of Electrical Engineering, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
2Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA

Received 15 November 2013; Accepted 10 December 2013; Published 9 February 2014

Academic Editor: Hui Xia

Copyright © 2014 Miriam Israelowitz 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.

Abstract

Nanoparticle (NP) arrays of noble metals strongly absorb light in the visible to infrared wavelengths through resonant interactions between the incident electromagnetic field and the metal’s free electron plasma. Such plasmonic interfaces enhance light absorption and photocurrent in solar cells. We report a cost-effective and scalable room temperature/pressure spin-coating route to fabricate broadband plasmonic interfaces consisting of silver NPs. The NP interface yields photocurrent enhancement (PE) in thin film silicon devices by up to 200% which is significantly greater than previously reported values. For coatings produced from Ag nanoink containing particles with average diameter of 40 nm, an optimal NP surface coverage of 7% is observed. Scanning electron microscopy of interface morphologies revealed that for low , particles are well separated, resulting in broadband PE. At higher , formation of particle strings and clusters causes red-shifting of the PE peak and a narrower spectral response.