Nanowire array photovoltaics: Radial disorder versus design for optimal efficiency

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Journal Article
Appl. Phys. Lett., 2012, 101 pp. 173902 - 173902
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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.
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