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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(4), 355; doi:10.3390/app7040355

Self-Organized Nanoscale Roughness Engineering for Broadband Light Trapping in Thin Film Solar Cells

1
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Genova, via Dodecaneso 33, I-16146 Genova, Italy
2
ENEA—Portici Research Center, Energy Technologies Department, Piazzale E. Fermi 1, 80055 Portici (NA), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jürgen Hüpkes and Karsten Bittkau
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light Management for Optoelectronics)
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Abstract

We present a self-organized method based on defocused ion beam sputtering for nanostructuring glass substrates which feature antireflective and light trapping effects. By irradiating the substrate, capped with a thin gold (Au) film, a self-organized Au nanowire stencil mask is firstly created. The morphology of the mask is then transferred to the glass surface by further irradiating the substrate, finally producing high aspect ratio, uniaxial ripple-like nanostructures whose morphological parameters can be tailored by varying the ion fluence. The effect of a Ti adhesion layer, interposed between glass and Au with the role of inhibiting nanowire dewetting, has also been investigated in order to achieve an improved morphological tunability of the templates. Morphological and optical characterization have been carried out, revealing remarkable light trapping performance for the largest ion fluences. The photon harvesting capability of the nanostructured glass has been tested for different preparation conditions by fabricating thin film amorphous Si solar cells. The comparison of devices grown on textured and flat substrates reveals a relative increase of the short circuit current up to 25%. However, a detrimental impact on the electrical performance is observed with the rougher morphologies endowed with steep v-shaped grooves. We finally demonstrate that post-growth ion beam restructuring of the glass template represents a viable approach toward improved electrical performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: light trapping; nanopatterning; self-organization; thin film silicon solar cells; photon harvesting; photovoltaic; nanophotonics; ion beam sputtering light trapping; nanopatterning; self-organization; thin film silicon solar cells; photon harvesting; photovoltaic; nanophotonics; ion beam sputtering
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mennucci, C.; Martella, C.; Mercaldo, L.V.; Usatii, I.; Veneri, P.D.; Mongeot, F.B. Self-Organized Nanoscale Roughness Engineering for Broadband Light Trapping in Thin Film Solar Cells. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 355.

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