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Computational Sciences for Energy Research (14CSER035)

Understanding the absorption of interfering light for improved solar cell efficiency


Funded by:

Shell/FOM/NWO Computational Science in Energy Research Program 14CSER035


Marek Kozon


Jaap van der Vegt & Willem Vos


Complex Photonic Systems Group (COPS), University of Twente


We aim to obtain a breakthrough in the 3D modeling of the absorption of light in photovoltaic cells. Absorption in complex nanophotonic media is generally interpreted by diffusion without interference. Here we take a radically different approach by considering absorption as a sequence of scattering events and wave interference. Our approach shows that energy in (disordered) media is transported via eigenchannels. Computing these eigenchannels opens up new roads to understand absorption and to manipulate it using wave front shaping, which are essential for thinner photovoltaic cells with a larger electricity production. The computations of the eigenchannels are based on a singular value decomposition of the transfer and scattering matrices, which are computed using a higher order accurate discontinuous Galerkin method for the time-­-harmonic Maxwell equations. To allow large-­-scale computations special attention will be given to the development of an efficient multigrid solver for the DG discretization of the Maxwell equations.