Thin film solar cells (TFSC) differ from the conventional wafer solar cell panels in that they are a fraction of the thickness, hence they boast reduced material costs, lighter weight, and possible flexibility. To improve their light-trapping and absorption efficiency, manufacturers currently use nanometer scale texturing. When manufacturing nano textured thin film solar cells in the substrate configuration, the back reflector is also textured. It has been observed that a textured back reflector leads to parasitic light absorption in silicon solar cells. This occurrence reduces the back reflector effectiveness, and thus reduces absorption in the absorber layer and overall efficiency. However, there is little to no similar research done for thin film (CdTe/CdS) solar cells devices. In this work, wave optical analyses of thin film CdTe/CdS solar cells with and without nano texturing on the metal back reflectors were simulated using ANSYS ANSOFT High Frequency Structural Simulator (HFSS). The optical analyses yielded percentage absorptions for unit cells with four absorber thicknesses range between 250- to 1000 nm, with and without a textured back reflector over six wavelengths range from 360nm to 860 nm, and with 3 different back contact metals (Au, Ag, and Al). It was noted that the textured back contacts show a substantial increase in the absorption in the active CdTe layer in the infrared range. Additionally, back reflector texturing increases the parasitic absorption in the metal back reflector layer as well, especially with ultrathin absorber layer. It was also found that additional parasitic absorption due to a textured back reflector has less of an impact on absorption as the active absorber thickness increases to 500 nm, 750 nm, or 1000 nm. Finally, silver (Ag) as back contact outperforms both aluminum (Al) and gold (Au). This finding might be crucial to solar cell manufacturers because it could possibly be an overlooked factor in achieving higher efficiencies for relatively thin cells.

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