2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Utilizing Genetic Algorithms for Solar Cell Optimization
Francis O. Afzal
Dr. Mohammad Samiullah, Faculty Mentor

We explore an approach to enhance the effciency of solar cells and generally improve solar energy generation through utilizing photonic nanostructures. Our focus is on improving photonic nanostructures to provide high absorptivity in a narrow angular range for systems which do not employ sunlight concentration. We consider structures consisting of an aperiodic stack of alternating layers of silicon and silica on top of a thick tungsten layer. The layer thicknesses are optimized to maximize the angular selectivity in the absorptivity of 550nm light for both TE and TM polarizations. Using such an approach, we design structures with highly directional absorptivity for both polarizations. As a consequence of optimizing the structures for the absorption of a single frequency of light, our structures do not maintain this angular selectivity across a broad band of frequencies and lead further research to consider structure optimization over multiple wavelengths of light.

Keywords: Photonics, Thermophotovoltaics, Solar Energy, Solar Cells, Genetic Algorithms

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 102-3
Location: MG 1096
Time: 8:30

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