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Keywords:

  • diffraction;
  • gratings;
  • light trapping;
  • pyramidal texture;
  • crystalline silicon solar cells;
  • simulation

ABSTRACT

Back-side diffractive gratings enhance a solar cell's efficiency by trapping light inside the cell and increasing the probability of absorption. We introduce a three-dimensional, polarization-sensitive optical model combining ray tracing and rigorous coupled-wave analysis to investigate silicon solar cells with pyramidal front-side texturing and back-side gratings. Parameter optimization is performed to increase the short-circuit current density for a linear binary grating with grating period p and height h. For the investigated 180-µm-thick pyramidally textured silicon solar cells, the simulation yields a maximum enhancement of the short-circuit current density by ΔJSC = 1.79 mA/cm2 corresponding to an absolute efficiency increase of Δη = 0.90%. Furthermore, we report on fabrication and reflectance measurements of solar cells with gratings and key challenges in achieving efficiency gains using back-side diffractive gratings. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.