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Syracuse University

Condensed Matter Physics

Light-trapping

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Thermodynamic Limit To Photonic-Plasmonic Light-Trapping In Thin Films On Metals, Eric A. Schiff Nov 2011

Thermodynamic Limit To Photonic-Plasmonic Light-Trapping In Thin Films On Metals, Eric A. Schiff

Physics

We calculate the maximum optical absorptance enhancements in thin semiconductor films on metals due to structures that diffuse light and couple it to surface plasmon polaritons. The calculations can be used to estimate plasmonic effects on light-trapping in solar cells. The calculations are based on the statistical distribution of energy in the electromagnetic modes of the structure, which include surface plasmon polariton modes at the metal interface as well as the trapped waveguide modes in the film. The enhancement has the form 4n2+/h (n – film refractive index, λ – optical wavelength, h – film thickness), which is an ...