Submicron texturing for broadband light management in thin-film PV

Henrik Melkonyan, Sueda Saylan, Andreas Heidelberg, Harald Bloess, Marco Stefancich, Jaime Viegas, Marcus S. Dahlem

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

2 Scopus citations


Surface texturing in thin-film solar cells provides a promising way of addressing the loss components due to reflection and poor light absorption inside the cells. In this work, we study the reflection suppression performance of different submicron-scale periodic surface texturing morphologies through two dimensional (2D) finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) computations. The broadband reflection response is investigated at two interfaces, air/glass and glass/TCO (transparent conductive oxide), for a spectral range of 300-2500 nm. A Drude-Lorentz model is used to account for material dispersion and absorption within the wavelengths of interest. In order to optimize the light trapping performance, numerical simulations of various surface texture structures are compared with those of flat interfaces. Numerical results show a reduction in reflection at the air/glass interface to values below 0.2% for some of the triangular gratings, compared to up to 4% for the non-textured interface. For the glass/TCO interface, reflection decreases to less than half when compared to the non-textured interface, also for triangular gratings. Further structures that replicate perfect multi-layer anti-reflection coatings are also studied. These structures are tuned to cancel specific wavelengths and can create an arbitrary effective index, overcoming the constraint of the limited number of refractive index values available. The best structures obtained for the air/glass and glass/TCO interfaces are combined in one stack, achieving reflectance values at least one order of magnitude below the non-textured air/glass/TCO stack.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationThin Film Solar Technology V
StatePublished - 2013
EventThin Film Solar Technology V - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 25 Aug 201326 Aug 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceThin Film Solar Technology V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Anti-reflection coatings
  • Gratings
  • Light management
  • Surface texturing
  • Thin-film PV


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