Maximized Optical Absorption in Ultrathin Films and Its Application to Plasmon-Based Two-Dimensional Photovoltaics
Journal article, 2010

For ultrathin films of a given material, light absorption is proportional to the film thickness. However, if the optical constants of the film are chosen in an optimal way, light absorption can be high even for extremely thin films and optical path length. We derive the optimal conditions and show how the maximized absorptance depends on film thickness. It is then shown that the optimal situation can be emulated by tuning of the geometric parameters in feasible nanocomposites combining plasmonic materials with semiconductors. Useful design criteria and estimates for the spatial absorption-distribution over the composite materials are provided. On the basis of efficient exchange of oscillator strength between the plasmonic and semiconductor constituents, a high quantum yield for semiconductor absorption can be achieved. The results are far-reaching with particularly promising opportunities for plasmonic solar cells.

ultrathin films

solar cells

effective medium

plasmon enhancement

localized surface plasmon resonances

Absorption limit

light absorption


Carl Hägglund

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Chemical Physics

Peter Apell

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Condensed Matter Theory

Bengt Herbert Kasemo

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Chemical Physics

Nano Letters

1530-6984 (ISSN) 1530-6992 (eISSN)

Vol. 10 8 3135-3141

Subject Categories

Physical Sciences



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