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This paper proposes a novel technique for the efficiency enhancement of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells using metamaterials absorbing screens. This kind of engineered material comprises resonant metallic rings that are printed on a host low-loss dielectric substance and made periodic in a two-dimensional lattice. The absorbing screen has been carefully designed, and its retrieved effective constitutive parameters, effective electric permittivity ϵeff and effective magnetic permeability µeff, are integrated within a numerically modelled amorphous-Silicon-based PV solar cell structure as an impedance matching layer. Such arrangement will greatly achieve matching between the effective impedance of the composite solar cell structure and free-space impedance and will result in higher photons absorption through the metamaterials anti-reflective screen. Numerical full-wave electromagnetic simulations are carried out using CST Microwave Studio for the design of a metamaterial absorbing screen. Due to the large computational resources required, COMSOL Multiphysics was adopted in the design and analysis of the composite structure comprising a two-dimensional PV solar cells layer. Based on the numerical results, both optical and electric characteristics of the PV solar cell structure were enhanced with the use of a metamaterial layer. Moreover, efficiency enhancement by 5% was permissible, in which efficiency reached 12% with the use of metamaterials as compared to the efficiency of the classical PV cells of 7%. The obtained results are very promising, and the potential integration of metamaterials in commercial PV solar cells will show significant advancement in efficiency enhancement of PV cells and realization of smart PV solar cells with the consideration of additional features from metamaterials.
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