Angular reflection study to reduce plasmonic losses in the dielectrically displaced back reflectors of silicon solar cells

Y. Yang*, S. Pillai, H. Kampwerth, M. A. Green, H. Mehrvarz, A. Ho-Baillie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Metals are an integral part of solar cell structures - as a metal contact and/or a back reflector. However it is a less known fact that there are plasmonic losses associated with these structures and it is important to minimise such losses especially when placed in proximity to scattering media like textures on the front of the cell that can introduce an angular dependence to the light incident on the rear. This study investigates the losses in a metal reflector when placed adjacent to a dielectric layer in a typical solar cell rear geometry. The experimental measurement was realised using a novel custom built optical setup for characterising intensity of the reflected light at various internal incident angles at the Si-dielectric interface. Our results show that the thickness of the dielectric layer, the refractive index of the dielectric layer and the type of the rear metal can all affect the degree of such losses and the distribution of the angular reflection. Both measured and simulation results indicate that a 250-320 nm SiO 2 along with an Ag back reflector gives the best internal rear angular reflection in Si but is dependant on the wavelength of interest. It also shows that textured or scattering front interfaces with internal incident angles greater than 28 have the potential to provide light trapping through total internal reflection and at the same time minimise plasmonic losses at the metal reflector interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • rear internal reflection
  • SPP
  • plasmonic losses
  • angular dependence study
  • optical setup
  • solar cells


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