Comparative study of thin film n-i-p a-Si: H solar cells to investigate the effect of absorber layer thickness on the plasmonic enhancement using gold nanoparticles
In this paper, the effect of gold nanoparticles on n-i-p a-Si:H solar cells with different intrinsic layer (i-layer) thicknesses has been studied. 100nm and 500nm i-layer based n-i-p a-Si:H solar cells were fabricated and colloidal gold (Au) nanoparticles dispersed in water-based solution were spin-coated on the top surface of the solar cells. The Au nanoparticles are of spherical shape and have 100nm diameter. Electrical and quantum efficiency measurements were carried out and the results show an increase in short-circuit current density (Jsc), efficiency and external quantum efficiency (EQE) with the incorporation of the nanoparticles on both cells. Jsc increases from 5.91mA/cm2 to 6.5mA/cm2 (~10% relative increase) and efficiency increases from 3.38% to 3.97% (~17.5% relative increase) for the 100nm i-layer solar cell after plasmonic enhancement whereas Jsc increases from 9.34mA/cm2 to 10.1mA/cm2 (~7.5% relative increase) and efficiency increases from 4.27% to 4.99% (~16.9% relative increase) for the 500nm i-layer cell. The results show that plasmonic enhancement is more effective in 100nm than 500nm i-layer thickness for a-Si:H solar cells. Moreover, the results are discussed in terms of light absorption and electron hole pair generation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.