December 15, 2008
Nanocones soak up sunlight
Shape the surface of an amorphous silicon
solar cell into a forest of microscopic cones and you can make the
cells absorb twice the sunlight.
The nanocones let the layer of the cell that absorbs light
double as an antireflective coating. The nanocones absorb more than
90 percent of light at angles up to 60 degrees. Ordinary amorphous
silicon thin films absorb only 45 percent, and silicon nanowire arrays
only 70 percent.
The nanocones reduce reflection and their tapered shape helps
transmit light across the boundary between air and silicon.
Enhancement in Amorphous Silicon Nanowire and Nanocone Arrays
Nano Letters, published online December 10, 2008
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