Optimization of Textured Photonic Crystal Backside Reflector for Si Thin Film Solar Cells


A new backside reflector, textured photonic crystal, is introduced into Si thin film solar cells. Scattering matrix method is used to systematically optimize all the parameters of the two components of the backside reflector, grating and distributed Bragg reflector, to achieve the highest power conversion efficiency for a given solar cell thickness. Experimentally, Si-on-insulator solar cells are being fabricated to verify the tremendous efficiency enhancement and optimal design. It is found that while the optimal period and etch depth of the grating, the Bragg wavelength of the distributed Bragg reflector, as well as the antireflection coating thickness all decrease as the cell becomes thinner, the optimum duty cycle of the grating remains almost constant at 0.5. For a 2 μm thick cell, the relative efficiency enhancement can be as high as 52% using the optimized design.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Y. Hamakawa (Ed. ), Thin-Film Solar Cells, Next generation Photovoltaics and Its Applications, Springer, Berlin; New York, 2004.

  2. 2.

    L. Zeng, Y. Yi, C. Hong, B. A. Alamariu, J. Liu, N. Feng, X. Duan, and L. C. Kimerling, Appl Phys. Lett., 89, 111111 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    ASTMG173-03, Standard Tables for Reference Solar Spectral Irradiances: Direct Normal and Hemispherical on 37 degree Tilted Surface (ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, 2005).

  4. 4.

    C. Herzinger, B. Johs, W. McGahan, J. Woollam, and W. Paulson, J. Appl. Phys. 83, 3323 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    M. Auslender and S. Hava, Optics Letters, 21, 1765 (1996); D. Whittaker and I. Culshaw, Phys Rev. B 60, 2610 (1999).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    C. H. Henry, J. Appl. Phys., 51, 4494 (1980).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lirong Zeng.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zeng, L., Bermel, P., Yi, Y. et al. Optimization of Textured Photonic Crystal Backside Reflector for Si Thin Film Solar Cells. MRS Online Proceedings Library 974, 206 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-0974-CC02-06

Download citation