Dielectric nanostructures for broadband light trapping in organic solar cells

Aaswath Raman, Zongfu Yu, Shanhui Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Organic bulk heterojunction solar cells are a promising candidate for low-cost next-generation photovoltaic systems. However, carrier extraction limitations necessitate thin active layers that sacrifice absorption for internal quantum efficiency or vice versa. Motivated by recent theoretical developments, we show that dielectric wavelength-scale grating structures can produce significant absorption resonances in a realistic organic cell architecture. We numerically demonstrate that 1D, 2D and multi-level ITO-air gratings lying on top of the organic solar cell stack produce a 8-15% increase in photocurrent for a model organic solar cell where PCDTBT:PC71BM is the organic semiconductor. Specific to this approach, the active layer itself remains untouched yet receives the benefit of light trapping by nanostructuring the top surface below which it lies. The techniques developed here are broadly applicable to organic semiconductors in general, and enable partial decoupling between active layer thickness and photocurrent generation. © 2011 Optical Society of America.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19015
JournalOptics Express
Issue number20
StatePublished - Sep 15 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUSC1-015-21
Acknowledgements: We thank Eric T. Hoke for ellipsometry data on PCDTBT:PC71BM. This work was supported by the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics (CAMP) (Award No KUSC1-015-21), made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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