Technical Proceedings of the 2014 Clean Technology Conference and Trade Show

Cleantech 2014

Chapter 2: Solar Power Technologies

S. Shepard and F. Rubaiat
Louisiana Tech University, US
106 - 108
solar energy, photovoltaics, light trapping, nanoparticle scattering
Models used in the field of nanoparticle enhanced light-trapping have a wide range of complexity. Often one simply calculates how much power is absorbed in a particular region e.g., a layer of silicon withing a photovoltaic device. It is important to distinguish however “bad” material absorptions from the “good” absorptions which generate current (within a PN junction). Supercomputer simulations can incorporate both the carrier dynamics within a PN junction as well as the optical scattering from nanoparticles but these are too complex for most purposes. We describe herein a new nanophotonic simulation methodology in which we circumvent the complexities of carrier dynamics via an efective loss based on measured responsivity data to model the PN junction. A model for incorporating responsivity in an ad hoc way is shown to yield reasonable results in a how loss limit. We go beyond that limit via another model in which we allow the power we extract from the device to influence the quality of the trap itself.
Improved Nanophotonics Simulation Tools for Light-Trapping in Photovoltaics