Broadband light absorption enhancement is numerically investigated for the active light harvesting layer of an organic photovoltaic (OPV), which consists of a blend of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). Periodic plasmonic nanostructures placed above and below the active layer incorporate Ag, Al, Au, or a combination of two different metals. Three dimensional (3D) full-field electromagnetic simulations are applied to determine the effect of varying the metal employed in the plasmonic nanostructures on the absorption enhancement of the OPV. In addition, the geometric parameters (e.g., film thickness, period, and diameter) of the symmetrically distributed top and bottom metal (Ag, Al, or Au) nanostructures were varied to optimize the device structure and delineate the mechanism(s) leading to the absorption enhancement. A spectrally broadband, polarization-insensitive, and wide-angle absorption enhancement is obtained using a double plasmonic nanostructure and is attributed to the combined excitation of localized and single-interface surface plasmon polariton modes. The total photon absorption of the OPV with the optimized double plasmonic Ag nanostructures was found to be enhanced by as much as 82.8% and 80.4% under normal (0°) and 60° light incidence, respectively.

Supplementary Material

You do not currently have access to this content.