Abstract

High scattering cross section of plasmonic nanoparticles in intermediate band solar cells (IBSCs) based on quantum dots (QDs) can obviate the low photon absorption in QD layers. In this report, we present a modeling procedure to extract the optical and electrical characteristics of a GaAs-based plasmonic intermediate band solar cell (PIBSC). It is shown that metal nanoparticles (MNPs) that are responsible for scattering of incident photons in the absorber layer can lead to photocurrent enhancement, provided that an optimum size and density is calculated. Proper design of QD layers that control the intermediate energy band location, as well as the loss-scattering trade-off of MNPs, can result in an efficiency increase of 4.2% in the PIBSC compared to a similar IBSC, and an increase of 5.9% compared to a reference GaAs PIN cell. A comprehensive discussion on the effect of intermediate band region width and current-voltage characteristics of the designed cell is presented.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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