Abstract

In this Letter, funnel-shaped silicon nanowires (SiNWs) are newly introduced for highly efficient light trapping. The proposed designs of nanowires are inspired by the funnel shape, which enhances the light trapping with reduced reflections in the wavelength range from 300 to 1100 nm. Composed of both cylindrical and conical units, the funnel nanowires increase the number of leaky mode resonances, yielding an absorption enhancement relative to a uniform nanowire array. The optical properties of the suggested nanowires have been numerically investigated using the 3D finite difference time domain (FDTD) method and compared to cylindrical and conical counterparts. The structural geometrical parameters are studied to maximize the ultimate efficiency and hence the short-circuit current. Carefully engineered structure geometry is shown to yield improved light absorption useful for solar cell applications. The proposed funnel-shaped SiNWs offer an ultimate efficiency of 41.8%, with an enhancement of 54.8% relative to conventional cylindrical SiNWs. Additionally, short-circuit current of 34.2  mA/cm2 is achieved using the suggested design.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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