Solar Cell Utility Product Overview

The Solar Cell Utility™[1] provides an optical and electronic simulation solution for solar cell devices. The utility simplifies common tasks associated with solar cell design and aids in the rigorous computation of J-V curves, quantum efficiency spectra, and overall cell-efficiency. The basic version of the Solar Cell Utility uses a simple electronic model and operates with one or more RSoft optical simulation tools[2]. If a rigorous electronic modeling solution is desired, LaserMOD can be used. The Solar Cell Utilty LaserMOD option provides a limited license of LaserMOD for this purpose.

[1] The Solar Cell Utility provides owners of some of RSoft's optical simulation tools the functionality described here. All simulation tools are licensed separately.
[2] Consult an RSoft representative to determine which combinations of products are currently supported.

Schematic of solar cell structure

Schematic of solar cell structure along with computed solar cell efficiency
as a function of the period of a diffractive optical element within the cell.


  • Rigorous optical simulation is performed by one of RSoft's passive optical design tools.
  • Can use either a simple electronic model or RSoft's rigorous LaserMOD simulation tool.
  • Fully integrated into the RSoft CAD Environment.
J-V curve for solar cell

J-V curve for solar cell with randomly textured interfaces computed using Ideal Diode electrical model and FullWAVE.

J-V curve for the same solar cell above computed with LaserMOD and FullWAVE.


  • Solar cell design
  • Solar cells with diffractive optical elements
  • Solar cells with randomly textured material interfaces
  • Ideal for investigating the electronic nature of solar cells


  • Arbitrary solar cell geometry can easily be created in the RSoft CAD.
  • Important material properties such as frequency-dependent complex refractive indexes can be used to correctly model absorptive materials.
  • Simple electronic modeling via modified Ideal Diode equation; rigorous modeling via RSoft's LaserMOD tool.
  • Uses the AM1.5 Solar Spectrum as incident spectrum by default; a user-specified spectrum can also be used.
  • Direct user control over shadowing, filling-factor, and collection efficiency.
  • Accounting of parasitic resistances in both simple and rigorous electronic models.
  • Outputs include cell efficiency, J-V curves, and quantum efficiency spectra in addition to the standard output from the simulation tool(s) used (DiffractMOD, FullWAVE, and/or LaserMOD).
  • Automated parametric studies and design optimization using MOST.

Application Gallery