Advances in Plasmonic Light Trapping in Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaic Devices
Solar Cell Nanotechnology
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This chapter reviews the recent promising advances in the use of plasmonic nanostructures forming metamaterials to improve absorption of light in thin-fi lm solar photovoltaic (PV) devices. Sophisticated light management in thin-fi lm PV has become increasingly important to ensure absorption of the entire solar spectrum while reducing semiconductor absorber layer thicknesses, which reduces deposition time, material use, embodied energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic costs. Metal nanostructures have a strong interaction with light, which enables unprecedented control over the propagation and the trapping of light in the absorber layer of thin-fi lm PV. The literature is reviewed for both theoretical and experimental work on multiple nanoscale geometries of both plasmonic absorbers and PV materials. Finally, the use of nanostructures to improve light trapping in PV is outlined to guide development.