Computational Sciences for Energy Research (12CSER076)

Accurate Modeling of Light at Nanoscale for Efficient Solar Cells


Funded by:

Shell/FOM/NWO Computational Science in Energy Research Program 12CSER076




Jaap van der Vegt & Willem Vos


Complex Photonic Systems Group (COPS), UT


We aim to obtain a breakthrough in the understanding of photonic crystal nanostructures by means of accurate numerical methods. Such an understanding will stimulate their application in solar energy collection. To this end, an accurate and efficient discontinuous Galerkin finite-element (DGFEM) eigen-value solver for the time-harmonic Maxwell equations with (locally) periodic dielectric materials will be developed. Special attention will be given to obtain accurate solutions for non-smooth eigenfunctions near discontinuous dielectric interfaces and the modeling of finite size crystals in solar cells. These novel numerical discretizations allow the accurate computation of the optical properties of photonic band gap crystals in solar cells. We will also study finite size effects, and the effects of inevitable structural disorder. Novel designs will be considered that increase the absorption length of light in solar cells in the near infrared wavelength regime, since this will significantly increase the efficiency of solar cells.




The primitive unit cell of the cubic inverse woodpile photonic crystal structure.

Angle- and frequency- resolved reflectivity for p-polarized incident plane wave.