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The efficiency of thin-film solar cells using a-Si:H is limited by the decrease in a-Si:H layer optical path length and its poor light absorption at red and NIR wavelengths. Metal NP such as Au have been shown to increase the absorption in the active material and then cell performances, by exhibiting localized surface plasmon (LSP) resonances. Our work’s goal is to understand NP influence in such cells, to perform an optimal structure by increasing the amount of light absorbed within the cell using NP scattering and luminescence. Modeling based on Mie theory is first carried out using bulk Palik data for Au spheres with various diameters and refractive medium indexes. Using modeling parameters, Au layers were deposited on glass and SnO2 substrates respectively by thermal evaporation in vacuum and sputtering, followed by thermal annealing (200 ∼ 500°C) in order to promote the NP growth. MEB pictures show quasispherical Au NP shape with a mean size of 150nm. This diameter range switches extinction of NP in scattering regime. Annealing temperature (T) strongly affects the NP morphology. Surface coverage decreases and sphericity appears to increase with T. UV-Visible spectroscopy displays distinct LSP resonances around 600nm after annealing with a red shift while T increases.
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