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Advanced Anti-Reflection Coatings Based on Nano- and Micro-Structures

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In order to absorb a significant fraction of the incident solar irradiation, a photovoltaic device must incorporate light management techniques. Mechanisms are needed for both incoupling of the light into the device and for ensuring absorption of light that has entered the cell. Here we describe coatings based on (i) an environmentally friendly paper, (ii) metal and dielectric resonators, and (iii) general nanostructures that can concentrate light to achieve efficiencies higher than traditional, planar devices. We find experimentally that a paper-based anti-reflection coating can improve a commercial GaAs cell by 24%. Additionally, we show that quantum dots can be used as a new type of scattering structure, which can increase the current generated by a typical polymer solar cell by 28%. General techniques and strategies for high efficiency nano-scale PV devices are discussed.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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