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ACS Nano. 2013 Mar 26;7(3):2725-32. doi: 10.1021/nn400160n. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

Efficient light absorption with integrated nanopillar/nanowell arrays for three-dimensional thin-film photovoltaic applications.

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Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China SAR.


Efficient light absorption in thin-film photovoltaic (PV) devices is crucial for improving their efficiency and reducing cost. Here we have not only developed a low-cost and scalable method to fabricate a unique type of integrated-nanopillar-nanowell (i-NPW) structure by integrating nanopillar and nanowell arrays together vertically, but also demonstrated the attractive optical property of the i-NPW arrays by leveraging the advantages of "positive" and "negative" nanostructures for photon harvesting. Impressively, the 2 μm thick i-NPW arrays with only 40 nm a-Si coating obtained a day-integrated absorption of 89.27%, as opposed to only 33.45% for the planar control sample. These results suggest the feasibility and clear advantage of vertical integration of three-dimensional (3-D) nanophotonic structures, and meanwhile also pave a viable and convenient way toward a 3-D ultrathin film PV module with potency for high energy conversion efficiency.

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