Optical modelling of incoherent substrate light-trapping in silicon thin film multi-junction solar cells with finite elements and domain decomposition Conference Paper uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Cell Transformation, Viral
  • Oncogenes
  • Receptors, Cell Surface


  • In many experimentally realized applications, e.g. photonic crystals, solar cells and light-emitting diodes, nanophotonic systems are coupled to a thick substrate layer, which in certain cases has to be included as a part of the optical system. The finite element method (FEM) yields rigorous, high accuracy solutions of full 3D vectorial Maxwell's equations1 and allows for great flexibility and accuracy in the geometrical modelling. Time-harmonic FEM solvers have been combined with Fourier methods in domain decomposition algorithms to compute coherent solutions of these coupled system.2, 3 The basic idea of a domain decomposition approach lies in a decomposition of the domain into smaller subdomains, separate calculations of the solutions and coupling of these solutions on adjacent subdomains. In experiments light sources are often not perfectly monochromatic and hence a comparision to simulation results might only be justified if the simulation results, which include interference patterns in the substrate, are spectrally averaged. In this contribution we present a scattering matrix domain decomposition algorithm for Maxwell's equations based on FEM. We study its convergence and advantages in the context of optical simulations of silicon thin film multi-junction solar cells. This allows for substrate lighttrapping to be included in optical simulations and leads to a more realistic estimation of light path enhancement factors in thin-film devices near the band edge. © 2014 SPIE.

publication date

  • January 2014



  • Conference Paper


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1117/12.2036346

Additional Document Info


  • 8980