In a new study, a team of scientists from the UK, Portugal, and Brazil discovered that etching a shallow pattern of grating lines in a checkerboard design on solar cells can enhance the current generated by crystalline silicon (c-Si) by as much as 125 percent.
"We found a simple trick for boosting the absorption of slim solar cells," explains photovoltaics researcher Christian Schuster from the University of York.
"Our investigations show that our idea actually rivals the absorption enhancement of more sophisticated designs – while also absorbing more light deep in the plane and less light near the surface structure itself."
According to the authors of the study, "This design offers potential to further integrate solar cells into thinner, flexible materials and therefore create more opportunity to use solar power in more products."
Kezheng Li, Sirazul Haque, Augusto Martins, et al. Light trapping in solar cells: simple design rules to maximize absorption [open], Optica (DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.394885 [doi.org])