From optical constants (refractive index n and extinction coefficient k) extracted from ellipsometry technique, advanced optical analyses, including current loss analyses and structural analyses of textured devices, can be performed. The optical response in solar cell devices is essentially governed by the optical constants of solar-cell component layers and detailed optical analysis/simulation is of significant importance in maximizing conversion efficiencies. In this chapter, I review the operating principles of practical solar cells particularly based on the view of the absorber optical properties. Specifically, the relationship between solar cell characteristics and absorber absorption properties is discussed. The critical need of the optical and recombination loss analysis based on external quantum efficiency characterization is emphasized. By comparing the absorption spectra of various solar cell materials, the optical properties of semiconductors are further discussed. This chapter will also provide an overview for the contents of subsequent chapters in this book.
- 3.The numerical data can be downloaded at http://pveducation.org/pvcdrom/appendices/standard-solar-spectra
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