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Nano Lett. 2009 Jul;9(7):2742-6. doi: 10.1021/nl901232p.

Photonic crystal geometry for organic solar cells.

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Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Caudill and Kenan Laboratories CB 3290, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


We report organic solar cells with a photonic crystal nanostructure embossed in the photoactive bulk heterojunction layer, a topography that exhibits a 3-fold enhancement of the absorption in specific regions of the solar spectrum in part through multiple excitation resonances. The photonic crystal geometry is fabricated using a materials-agnostic process called PRINT wherein highly ordered arrays of nanoscale features are readily made in a single processing step over wide areas (approximately 4 cm(2)) that is scalable. We show efficiency improvements of approximately 70% that result not only from greater absorption, but also from electrical enhancements. The methodology is generally applicable to organic solar cells and the experimental findings reported in our manuscript corroborate theoretical expectations.

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