Titanium nitride as light trapping plasmonic material in silicon solar cell

Venugopal, N; Gerasimov, VS; Ershov, AE; Karpov, SV; Polyutov, SP OPTICAL MATERIALS, 72 397-402; 10.1016/j.optmat.2017.06.035 OCT 2017

Light trapping is a crucial prominence to improve the efficiency in thin film solar cells. However, last few years, plasmonic based thin film solar cells shows potential structure to improve efficiency in photovoltaics. In order to achieve the high efficiency in plasmonic based thin film solar cells, traditionally noble metals like Silver (Ag) and Gold (Au) are extensively used due to their ability to localize the light in nanoscale structures. In this paper, we numerically demonstrated the absorption enhancement due to the incorporation of novel plasmonic TiN nanoparticles on thin film Silicon Solar cells. Absorption enhancement significantly affected by TiN plasmonic nanoparticles on thin film silicon was studied using Finite-Difference-Time-Domain Method (FDTD). The optimal absorption enhancement 1.2 was achieved for TiN nanoparticles with the diameter of 100 nm. The results show that the plasmonic effect significantly dominant to achieve maximum absorption enhancement at longer wavelengths (red and near infrared) and as comparable with Au nanoparticle on thin film Silicon. The absorption enhancement can be tuned to the desired position of solar spectrum by adjusting the size of TiN nanoparticles. Effect of nanoparticle diameters on the absorption enhancement was also thoroughly analyzed. The numerically simulated results show that TiN can play the similar role as gold nanoparticles on thin film silicon solar cells. Furthermore, TiN plasmonic material is cheap, abundant and more Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) compatible material than traditional plasmonic metals like Ag and Au, which can be easy integration with other optoelectronic devices.