In this contribution, we use a rigorous electro-optical model to study randomly rough crystalline silicon solar cells with the absorber thickness ranging from 1 to 100 m. We demonstrate a significant efficiency enhancement, particularly strong for thin cells. We estimate the "region of interest" for thin-film photovoltaics, namely the thickness range for which the energy conversion efficiency reaches maximum. This optimal thickness results from the opposite trends of current and voltage as a function of the absorber thickness. Finally, we focus on surface recombination. In our design, the cell efficiency is limited by recombination at the rear (silicon absorber/back reflector) interface, and therefore engineering the front surface to a large extent does not reduce the efficiency. The presented model of roughness adds a significant functionality to previous approaches, for it allows performing rigorous calculations at a much reduced computational cost.
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