Current enhancement of aluminum doped ZnO/n-Si isotype heterojunction solar cells by embedding silver nanoparticles

Juhyung Yun, Joondong Kim, Hossein Shokri Kojori, Sung Jim Kim, Chong Tong, Wayne A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


To improve Plasmonic energy harvesting, the Al doped ZnO (AZO) and Si heterojunction was studied for plasmonic photovoltaic applications. Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were embedded in AZO, resulting in direct energy absoption from Ag NPs, positioned close to the junction. This structure has a benefit of avoiding highly doped lossy layers of conventional solar cell structures. Al doped ZnO (AZO) was deposited on n-Si substrate by dual beam sputtering method to fabricate AZO/Si heterojunction solar cells. AZO provides a transparent current spreading effect and rectifying junction with n type silicon (Si). Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were embedded in AZO film (240̃270 nm thick) with a sandwich-like structure. The position of Ag NPs in the AZO film was controlled to be located at 10, 20 and 40 nm distance from the Si absorber layer. Fabricated solar cells show improved performance in terms of the short circuit current (Jsc) and the quantum efficiency (QE). Finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations were carried out to investigate the QE enhancement and optimize photocurrent gain under an AM1.5G solar spectrum. In calculation, absorption enhancement is maximized when Ag NPs are located close to the Si layer in the range of 10̃40 nm. Experimentally, 20 nm distance of Ag NPs from the Si showed the best performance with 0.36 V of open circuit voltage (Voc), 28.3 mA/cm2 of Jsc and 5.91% of coversion efficiency. The QE showed 15% of enhancement around ) = 435 nm and 5̃10% of enhancement within ) = 600̃1000 nm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5547-5551
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


  • Ag Nanoparticles Embedding
  • AZO
  • Heterojunction
  • Isotype
  • Si
  • Solar Cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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