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A3.11 - Evolutionary Optimization of Silicon Nanostructures for Solar Cells 
April 22, 2014   4:45pm - 5:00pm

Enhancing light absorption in ultrathin film silicon solar cells is important for reducing costs and improving performance. In this work, we integrate a genetic algorithm with finite difference time domain simulations to determine the optimum silicon nanostructure with maximum solar absorption for some fixed equivalent thickness. Different single-sided (top or bottom) and double-sided gratings structures are evaluated with building blocks of nanowires, nanoholes, nanocones, and tapered nanohole structures. We compare the performance of these structures to that of a thin film with an optical path length of twice the thickness as well as the Lambertian limit. We find that double-sided grating structures improve light absorption over the entire solar spectrum compared to single-sided structures. This work demonstrates the ability of the genetic algorithm optimization technique to quickly search through a large parameter space to determine nanostructures with maximum solar absorption.

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Keynote Address
Panel Discussion - Different Approaches to Commercializing Materials Research
Business Challenges to Starting a Materials-Based Company
Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
Application of In-situ X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research - From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis