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Nanoimprint texturing of transparent flexible substrates for improved light management in thin-film solar cells

Light management schemes are of greatest importance for the development of high efficiency solar cells and modules, as an increase in the optical path length leads to higher utilization of the incoming light. Flexible solar cells on low cost transparent plastic substrates have the advantages of being lightweight, flexible and variable in shape and size. However available light management schemes, commonly utilized in solar cells on glass substrates, are not easily applicable here due to limitations in process temperature range of plastic substrates.
We have developed a novel approach to maintain advanced light management schemes in flexible solar cells on plastic substrates entirely at low temperature. The approach is based on nanoimprint lithography where a textured resist layer with optimal morphology is placed onto the plastic film. This layer demonstrates excellent light scattering properties, without deterioration in the transparency of the substrate or the electrical properties of the transparent contact layers grown on top. Implemented in a flexible solar cell, the short circuit current density is improved by 20% in comparison to a non-textured reference, resulting in an improved solar cell performance similar to that of cells on glass substrates. This paper was featured on the front cover of physica status solidi (RRL) - Rapid Research Letters. Click here to read the paper.


K. Wilken

V. Smirnov


Front-Cover-RRLDünnschicht-Silizium Solarzelle auf kostengünstigem, flexiblem PET Substrat mit Nano-Imprint Light-trapping Struktur.
Copyright: Wilken et al., Phys. Status Solidi R 9, 215-219 (2015)