Nanowire array photovoltaics: Radial disorder versus design for optimal efficiency

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Journal Article
Applied Physics Letters, 2012, 101 (17)
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Solar cell designs based on disordered nanostructures tend to have higher efficiencies than structures with uniform absorbers, though the reason is poorly understood. To resolve this, we use a semi-analytic approach to determine the physical mechanism leading to enhanced efficiency in arrays containing nanowires with a variety of radii. We use our findings to systematically design arrays that outperform randomly composed structures. An ultimate efficiency of 23.75 is achieved with an array containing 30 silicon, an increase of almost 10 over a homogeneous film of equal thickness. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
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