Case 13573

Global optimization of silicon photovoltaic cell front coatings

Keywords:

Photovoltaics (PV), PV cell, solar cell, thermophotovoltaic, long-wavelength infrared detector, LWIR detector, light trapping, thin film, multi-layer front coating, global optimization

Applications:

Multi-layer front and single-layer back coating designs to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) cells, as well as thermophotovoltaics (TPV) devices and long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) detectors.

Technology&Advantages:

The present invention helps enhance absorption of planar light-absorbing structures such as PV cells, via deposition of two or more front coating layers, plus an optional single back coating layer. It considers the dispersion of the target absorbing material (e.g., silicon), as well as the solar spectrum (in order to accurately weight the relative importance of different wavelengths). Global optimization is employed to calculate the structure with the best photocurrent, representing an improvement over traditional methods of determining layer indices and thicknesses, such as simple heuristics (e.g., quarter-wave thickness) or trial-and-error.

Inventors:

Intellectual Property:

U.S. Utility Patent Application Number 12/423,405, filed April 14, 2009

Publications:

Michael Ghebrebrhan, Peter Bermel, Yehuda Avniel, John D. Joannopoulos, Steven G. Johnson, "Global optimization of silicon photovoltaic cell front coatings", Optics Express 17, 7505 (2009).

Related Cases:

12087: Solar cell efficiencies through periodicity

Last revised:November 8, 2010

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