Introduction to Light Trapping in Solar Cell and Photo-detector Devices

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Dr. Stephen Fonash is Bayard D. Kunkle Chair Professor Emeritus of Engineering Sciences at Penn State University and Chief Technology Officer of Solarity LCCM, LLC. His activities at Penn State include serving as the director of Penn State's Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU), director of the National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education Center, and director of the Pennsylvania Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology Partnership.

Prof. Fonash's education contributions focus on nanotechnology post-secondary education and workforce development. His research activities encompass the processing and device physics of micro- and nanostructures including solar cells, sensors, and transistors. He has published over 300 refereed papers in the areas of education, nanotechnology, photovoltaics, microelectronics devices and processing, sensors, and thin film transistors. His book "Solar Cell Device Physics” has been termed the "bible of solar cell physics” and his solar cell computer modeling code AMPS is used by almost 800 groups around the world. Dr. Fonash holds 29 patents in his research areas, many of which are licensed to industry. He is on multiple journal boards, serves as an advisor to university and government groups, has consulted for a variety of firms, and has co-founded two companies. Prof. Fonash received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society
  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: A Brief Overview of Phenomena Involved in Light Trapping
    • Abstract
    • 1.1. Interference
    • 1.2. Scattering
    • 1.3. Reflection
    • 1.4. Diffraction
    • 1.5. Plasmonics
    • 1.6. Refraction
  • Chapter 2: Modes and Hybridization
    • Abstract
    • 2.1. Introductory comments
    • 2.2. Radiation modes
    • 2.3. Trapped traveling modes: guided modes
    • 2.4. Trapped traveling modes: Bloch modes
    • 2.5. Trapped localized modes: Mie modes and plasma modes
  • Chapter 3: Light-Trapping Structures
    • Abstract
    • 3.1. Introduction
    • 3.2. Planar structures with ARCs
    • 3.3. Planar structures with randomly textured surfaces
    • 3.4. Structures with nanoelement arrays
    • 3.5. Structures with plasmonic effects
  • Chapter 4: Summary
    • Abstract
    • 4.1. The current picture
    • 4.2. Some future directions?
    • 4.3. Overview
  • Appendix A: Yablonovitch Limit Derivation
  • Appendix B: Fresnel Equations for the Situation of Section 2.2
  • Appendix C: Index of Refraction, Permittivity, and Absorption Coefficient
  • References

New Approaches to Light Trapping in Solar Cell Devices discusses in detail the use of photonic and plasmonic effects for light trapping in solar cells. It compares and contrasts texturing, the current method of light-trapping design in solar cells, with emerging approaches employing photonic and plasmonic phenomena. These new light trapping methods reduce the amount of absorber required in a solar cell, promising significant cost reduction and efficiency.

This book highlights potential advantages of photonics and plasmonics and describes design optimization using computer modeling of these approaches. Its discussion of ultimate efficiency possibilities in solar cells is grounded in a review of the Shockley-Queisser analysis; this includes an in-depth examination of recent analyses building on that seminal work.

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