Plasmonic gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar cells with different metallic nanoparticles are investigated by a three-dimensional device simulation considering both optical and carrier transport response. The external quantum efficiency and metallic absorption are used for a detailed performance comparison for the devices with different metals. Results show that aluminum is beneficial for photovoltaic application due to its extremely low parasitic absorption and strong-enough scattering. The effect of the nanoparticle refractive index on the device performance is further examined in order to find the design guideline for efficient light-trapping. It is found that among the popular plasmonic metals aluminum best suits the optimal design.
© 2012 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article