Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSECE)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair

Peter A. Bermel

Committee Member 1

David B. Janes

Committee Member 2

Muhammad A. Alam


Thin-film silicon-based solar cells have operated far from the Shockley- Queisser limit in all experiments to date. Novel light-trapping structures, however, may help address this limitation. Finite-difference time domain simulation methods offer the potential to accurately determine the light-trapping potential of arbitrary dielectric structures, but suffer from materials modeling problems. In this thesis, existing dispersion models for novel photovoltaic materials will be reviewed, and a novel dispersion model, known as the quadratic complex rational function (QCRF), will be proposed. It has the advantage of accurately fitting experimental semiconductor dielectric values over a wide bandwidth in a numerically stable fashion. Applying the proposed dispersion model, a statistically correlated surface texturing method will be suggested, and light absorption rates of it will be explained. In future work, these designs will be combined with other structures and optimized to help guide future experiments.