Plasmonic-Photonic Enhanced Solar Cells

Along with our partners at Lightwave Power, Inc and Iowa State University, we have successfully applied our R2R nanotechnology to the formation of substrates for use in advanced solar cells. These substrates contain periodic arrays of plasmonic nanostructures that improve the efficiency of the cells by more trapping light that is otherwise cannot be used by conventional cells. In addition, cells made with these substrates can be substantially thinner--producing cost savings through decreased material usage and increased factory output.

Some of this work was carried out under the sponsorship of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, where the performance of these cells were certified and shown to ehhibit enhanced performance compared to the same devices without the nanostructured substrate.

The top row shows scanning electron micrographs (SEMs) of plasmonic nanarray used in solar cells. Bottom photograph shows this nanostructure on a flexible polyester substrate