Ultradense, Deep Subwavelength Nanowire Array Photovoltaics As Engineered Optical Thin Films

Douglas Tham, James R. Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A photovoltaic device comprised of an array of 20 nm wide, 32 nm pitch array of silicon nanowires is modeled as an optical material. The nanowire array (NWA) has characteristic device features that are deep in the subwavelength regime for light, which permits a number of simplifying approximations. Using photocurrent measurements as a probe of the absorptance, we show that the NWA optical properties can be accurately modeled with rigorous coupled-wave analysis. The densely structured NWAs behave as homogeneous birefringent materials into the ultraviolet with effective optical properties that are accurately modeled using the dielectric functions of bulk Si and SiO 2, coupled with a physical model for the NWA derived from ellipsometry and transmission electron microscopy. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4429-4434
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 10 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by the Department of Energy (DE-FG02-04ER46175). D.T. gratefully acknowledges support by the KAUST Scholar Award. Minority carrier diffusion length measurements were made at the Molecular Materials Research Center of the Beckman Institute, while FIB lift-out and TEM imaging were performed in the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, both at the California Institute of Technology.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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