Ultrathin cells have gained increasing attention due to their potential for reduced weight, reduced cost and increased flexibility. However, the light absorption in ultrathin cells is usually very weak compared to the corresponding bulk cells. To achieve enhanced photon absorption in ultrathin thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells, this work proposed a film-coupled metamaterial structure made of nanometer-thick gallium antimonide (GaSb) layer sandwiched by a top one-dimensional (1D) metallic grating and a bottom metal film. The spectral normal absorptance of the proposed structure was calculated using the rigorous coupled-wave algorithm (RCWA) and the absorption enhancement was elucidated to be attributed to the excitations of magnetic polariton (MP), surface plasmon polariton (SPP), and Fabry-Perot (FP) resonance. The mechanisms of MP, SPP, and FP were further confirmed by an inductor-capacitor circuit model, dispersion relation, and phase shift, respectively. Effects of grating period, width, spacer thickness, as well as incidence angle were discussed. Moreover, short-circuit current density, open-circuit voltage, output electric power, and conversion efficiency were evaluated for the ultrathin GaSb TPV cell with a film-coupled metamaterial structure. This work will facilitate the development of nextgeneration low-cost ultrathin infrared TPV cells.
- light trapping
- selective absorption
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology