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Enhanced Photon Management of Thin-Film Silicon Solar Cells Using Inverse Opal Photonic Crystals with 3D Photonic Bandgaps

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Experimental demonstration of silicon inverse opal photonic crystals (PhCs) as a wave-optics-based back reflector for polycrystalline silicon solar cells is shown. Using a novel S5 process, crack-free three dimensional PhCs are fabricated, which are free-standing and have good optical properties. An efficiency enhancement of 10% is measured for 1.5 μm-thick commercial silicon solar cells, matching reasonably well with simulations.

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