The effect of photonic bandgap materials on the Shockley-Queisser limit

The effect of photonic bandgap materials on the Shockley-Queisser limit

Year:2012
Author(s):Jeremy N. Munday
Citation(s):J. of Appl. Phys., 112, 064501 (2012)

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Abstract: The limiting efficiency of photovoltaicenergy conversion was determined by Shockley and Queisser using the theory of detailed balance, which described the balance between absorption and emission of photons. However, when a material is placed on top of a solar cell that modifies the transmission of photons (e.g., a photonic crystal), both the absorption and emission of photons are modified. Here, we show how the addition of a photonic structure can lead to aneffective modification of the energybandgap of the material and can subsequently change its maximum theoretical efficiency. We consider the effect of non-ideal photonic structures and the effect of non-radiative recombination within the cell and find that, with realistic materials, efficiency gains of several percent can be achieved with the addition of photonic structures.