Plasmonic nanostructures for absorption enhancements close to the GaAs band edge

N. P. Hylton, V. Giannini, D. Vercruysse, P. Van Dorpe, K. H. Lee, X. F. Li, N. J. Ekins-Daukes, S. A. Maier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


In this paper we present the optical characterisation of periodic arrays of Au nanoparticles fabricated on both GaAs substrates and a triple junction solar cell structure. The nanoparticle arrays were designed to employ the localised surface plasmon resonances of the nanoparticles and diffraction effects arising from the periodicity of the arrays, at wavelengths close to the GaAs band edge. In principle effects such as these may be used to improve the absorption of light in solar cell structures and hence increase their efficiency. In particular, we aim to build upon the success of high efficiency GaAs based photovoltaic cells by targeting the spectral region close to the band edge, where the absorption strength in conventional GaAs solar cells is poor. We demonstrate from numerical simulations and experimental observation that by careful adjustment of the nanoparticle dimensions we can tune the localised surface plasmon resonance to the desired wavelength. Furthermore, we show evidence of the diffraction of incident light into lateral modes within the absorbing material, increasing the optical path length. This effect is associated with the periodic nature of the arrays, and can therefore also be spectrally tuned by controlling the spacing between the nanoparticles. Such periodic nanoparticle arrays therefore provide two methods of absorption enhancement that may be employed in the same structure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgram - 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781424499656
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference 2011 - Seattle, United States of America
Duration: 19 Jun 201124 Jun 2011
Conference number: 37th


ConferenceIEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference 2011
Abbreviated titlePVSC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America

Cite this