Chapter 8

Optical Properties of Semiconductors

Marian Nowak

Abstract

Optical properties of semiconductors, dielectrics and metals play a key role in the development of thin film solar cells. While these devices belong to photon photodetectors both the photon and wave nature of light affects their performance. Some of these problems are discussed in this chapter. The efficiency of photogeneration of free carriers by light as well as its spatial distribution is taken into consideration. This distribution is strongly affected by light interfering in a structure of many thin films. The possible geometrical and optical inhomogeneities of the solar cell structure are discussed. A few methods of determining surface and averaged overall film thickness refractive indices of semiconductor materials are presented. Techniques for determining different components of absorption of light in semiconductors are also reported. Examples of optical methods useful for determining essential parameters of semiconductors (e.g., optical energy gap, carrier diffusion length, and parameters of electron states) are presented as well.

Total Pages: 177-242 (66)

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