Optical Absorption Enhancement in Amorphous Silicon Nanocone Arrays

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Stanford researchers in Materials Science have developed a method of fabricating a-Si:H nanowires (NWs) and nanocones (NCs) using an easily scalable and IC-compatible process. These a-Si:H nanostructures display greatly enhanced absorption over a large range of wavelengths and angles of incidence due to suppressed reflection. The enhancement effect is particularly strong for a-Si:H NC arrays which provide nearly perfect impedance matching between a-Si:H and air through a gradual reduction of the effective refractive index. The a-Si:H nanocones function as both absorber and antireflection layers offering a promising approach to enhance the efficiency of solar cell energy conversion.

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