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A New Twist for Nanopillar Light Collectors

Nanopillars – densely packed nanoscale arrays of optically lively semiconductors – have proven possible for offering a subsequent technology of somewhat reasonable and scalable sun cells, however were hampered by means of potency problems. The nanopillar tale, alternatively, has taken a brand new twist and the longer term for those fabrics now appears brighter than ever.

“By tuning the shape and geometry of highly ordered nanopillar arrays of germanium or cadmium sulfide, we have been able to drastically enhance the optical absorption properties of our nanopillars,” says Ali Javey, a chemist who holds joint appointments with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) at Berkeley.

Javey, a school scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and a UC Berkeley professor engineering and laptop science, has been at the vanguard of nanopillar analysis. He and his workforce had been the primary to show a method in which cadmium sulfide nanopillars may also be industrially produced in large-scale versatile modules. In this newest paintings, they had been ready to supply nanopillars that soak up mild as neatly and even higher than industrial thin-film sun cells, the usage of a ways much less semiconductor subject material and with out the desire for anti-reflective coating.

“To enhance the broad-band optical absorption efficiency of our nanopillars we used a novel dual-diameter structure that features a small (60 nanometers) diameter tip with minimal reflectance to allow more light in, and a large (130 nanometers) diameter base for maximal absorbtion to enable more light to be converted into electricity,” Javey says. “This dual-diameter structure absorbed 99-percent of incident visible light, compared to the 85 percent absorbtion by our earlier nanopillars, which had the same diameter along their entire length.”


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