Editors : B. Yan, S. Higashi, C.C. Tsai, Q. Wang, H. Gleskova
a1 Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Institute of Microengineering (IMT), Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory, Rue A.-L. Breguet 2, CH-2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Thin film silicon solar cells are attractive for photovoltaics; however, the poor charge transport in this material requires that the devices are thinner than the absorption length. Adequate absorption can nevertheless be achieved by light scattering at textured interfaces because light can get trapped inside the absorber layer if it is scattered into angles above the critical angle of total internal reflection. This situation can be identified with the propagation of a guided mode in a waveguide where silicon plays the role of the high index guiding medium and the interface texture serves to couple the incident light to modes via grating coupling. We present an experimental realization of a solar cell structure on a line grating where the enhanced photocurrent can be clearly related to resonant excitation of waveguide modes.