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The agglomeration/dewetting process of thin silver films provides a scalable method of obtaining self-assembled nanoparticles (SANPs) for plasmonics-based thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) devices. We show the effect of annealing ambiance on silver SANP average size, particle/cluster finite shape, substrate area coverage/particle distribution, and how these physical parameters influence optical properties and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) responses of SANPs. Statistical analysis performed indicates that generally Ag SANPs processed in the presence of a gas (argon and nitrogen) ambiance tend to have smaller average size particles compared to those processed under vacuum. Optical properties are observed to be highly dependent on particle size, separation distance, and finite shape. The greatest SERS enhancement was observed for the argon-processed samples. There is a correlation between simulation and experimental data that indicate argon-processed AgNPs have a great potential to enhance light coupling when integrated to thin-film PV.

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© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this publication for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the contents of the publication are prohibited.

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Journal of Photonics for Energy


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