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postgraduate thesis: Optical design of organic solar cells by 3-D modeling of device structures

TitleOptical design of organic solar cells by 3-D modeling of device structures
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chen, L. [陈绿洲]. (2013). Optical design of organic solar cells by 3-D modeling of device structures. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5153676
AbstractOrganic solar cells (OSCs) have attracted intense attention in recent years due to their advantages of low cost, easy fabrication, and high flexibility compared to its inorganic counterparts. However, due to the conflicts between the short diffusion length of excitons and long absorption length of incident photons, the thickness of OSCs is typically thin, and thus power conversion efficiency (PCE) is generally lower than traditional silicon solar cells. Therefore, an exquisite design of light trapping schemes is essential to the PCE improvement. Generally, physical guideline of light trapping involves two main approaches: geometric optics methods and wave optics methods. The former aims at elongating optical path inside the photoactive layer and thus enhancing photon absorption. For organic thin film solar cells with typical active layer thickness of 100 nm-200 nm, which is in subwavelength scale, we cannot investigate light harvesting mechanism simply by the geometric optics methods and instead wave optics properties should be considered. In this thesis, two different light trapping enhancement designs are proposed. In order to simulate these structures, we built up programs for absorption power calculation based on scattering matrix method (SMM) by rigorously solving Maxwell’s equations. It is worth to point out that, different from the widely-used calculation method by Absorption = 1-Transmission-Reflection, our algorithm can extract the net optical absorption of the active layer rather than the whole OSCs. This improvement is very important because metal absorption, which does not contribute to exciton generation, can be excluded from the result. In Chapter 3, design of organic solar cell incorporating periodically arranged gradient type active layer is presented. This design can enhance light harvesting with patterned organic materials themselves (i.e. self-enhanced active layer design) to avoid degrading electrical performance in contrast to introducing inorganic concentrators into the active layers such as silicon and metallic nanostructures. Our numerical results show that the OSC with a self-enhanced active layer, compared with the conventional planar active layer configuration, has broadband and wide-angle range absorption enhancement due to better geometric impedance matching and prolonged optical path. In Chapter 4, OSC with interstitial lattice patterned metal nanoparticles (NPs) is proposed, which can improve the light blocking of traditional square lattice patterned NPs structure and achieve broadband absorption enhancement. Compared to square lattice design, the plasmonic mode couplings between individual NPs in the interstitial lattice are more versatile and much stronger. Moreover, plasmonic modes can couple to the guided modes, resulting in large enhancement factor at some wavelengths. These works provide a theoretical foundation and engineering reference for high performance OSC designs.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectSolar cells - Design and construction
Dept/ProgramElectrical and Electronic Engineering
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196035

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorChew, WC-
dc.contributor.advisorChoy, WCH-
dc.contributor.authorChen, Lüzhou-
dc.contributor.author陈绿洲-
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-21T03:50:07Z-
dc.date.available2014-03-21T03:50:07Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationChen, L. [陈绿洲]. (2013). Optical design of organic solar cells by 3-D modeling of device structures. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5153676-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196035-
dc.description.abstractOrganic solar cells (OSCs) have attracted intense attention in recent years due to their advantages of low cost, easy fabrication, and high flexibility compared to its inorganic counterparts. However, due to the conflicts between the short diffusion length of excitons and long absorption length of incident photons, the thickness of OSCs is typically thin, and thus power conversion efficiency (PCE) is generally lower than traditional silicon solar cells. Therefore, an exquisite design of light trapping schemes is essential to the PCE improvement. Generally, physical guideline of light trapping involves two main approaches: geometric optics methods and wave optics methods. The former aims at elongating optical path inside the photoactive layer and thus enhancing photon absorption. For organic thin film solar cells with typical active layer thickness of 100 nm-200 nm, which is in subwavelength scale, we cannot investigate light harvesting mechanism simply by the geometric optics methods and instead wave optics properties should be considered. In this thesis, two different light trapping enhancement designs are proposed. In order to simulate these structures, we built up programs for absorption power calculation based on scattering matrix method (SMM) by rigorously solving Maxwell’s equations. It is worth to point out that, different from the widely-used calculation method by Absorption = 1-Transmission-Reflection, our algorithm can extract the net optical absorption of the active layer rather than the whole OSCs. This improvement is very important because metal absorption, which does not contribute to exciton generation, can be excluded from the result. In Chapter 3, design of organic solar cell incorporating periodically arranged gradient type active layer is presented. This design can enhance light harvesting with patterned organic materials themselves (i.e. self-enhanced active layer design) to avoid degrading electrical performance in contrast to introducing inorganic concentrators into the active layers such as silicon and metallic nanostructures. Our numerical results show that the OSC with a self-enhanced active layer, compared with the conventional planar active layer configuration, has broadband and wide-angle range absorption enhancement due to better geometric impedance matching and prolonged optical path. In Chapter 4, OSC with interstitial lattice patterned metal nanoparticles (NPs) is proposed, which can improve the light blocking of traditional square lattice patterned NPs structure and achieve broadband absorption enhancement. Compared to square lattice design, the plasmonic mode couplings between individual NPs in the interstitial lattice are more versatile and much stronger. Moreover, plasmonic modes can couple to the guided modes, resulting in large enhancement factor at some wavelengths. These works provide a theoretical foundation and engineering reference for high performance OSC designs.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshSolar cells - Design and construction-
dc.titleOptical design of organic solar cells by 3-D modeling of device structures-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5153676-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineElectrical and Electronic Engineering-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5153676-

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