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Title: Systematic analysis of diffuse rear reflectors for enhanced light trapping in silicon solar cells

Simple diffuse rear reflectors can enhance the light path length of weakly absorbed near infrared light in silicon solar cells and set a benchmark for more complex and expensive light trapping structures like dielectric gratings or plasmonic particles. We analyzed such simple diffuse rear reflectors systematically by optical and electrical measurements. We applied white paint, TiO2 nanoparticles, white backsheets and a silver mirror to bifacial silicon solar cells and measured the enhancement of the external quantum efficiency for three different solar cell geometries: planar front and rear side, textured front and planar rear side, and textured front and rear side. We showed that an air-gap between the solar cell and the reflector decreases the absorption enhancement significantly, thus white paint and TiO2 nanoparticles directly applied to the rear cell surface lead to the highest short circuit current density enhancements. The short circuit current density gains for a 200 um thick planar solar cell reached up to 1.8 mA/cm2, compared to a non-reflecting black rear side and up to 0.8 mA/cm2 compared to a high-quality silver mirror rear side. For solar cells with textured front side the short circuit current density gains are in the range between 0.5 and 1.0 mA/cm2more » compared to a non-reflecting black rear side and do not significantly depend on the angular characteristic of the rear side reflector but mainly on its absolute reflectance.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0927-0248
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells; Journal Volume: 152
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE light trapping; diffuse rear reflectors; silicon solar cell; bifacial solar cell