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A plastic sheet (PS) coated with a layer of gold is allowed to shrink in one direction (on the left), giving rise to oriented nanowrinkles on the PS (central images). An hard mask is then produced from these structures to nanoimprint the wrinkles morphology on an UV-curable gel on glass. A schematic of the resulting thin film solar cells, a-Si-based PIN type, fabricated on these nanostructured back reflectors is reported on the right side.


2017.05.24 press release by Ole J. Knudsen of the paper titled"Efficient light-trapping with quasi-periodic uniaxial nanowrinkles for thin-film silicon solar cells" published in Nano Energy 35 (April 2017) 341.

Solar cells are expensive and difficult to mount and maintain, putting researchers always on the alert for new ways of producing them. A team of researchers based at the Department of Physics and Astronomy and iNano at Aarhus University went to the toyshop and found something that may cause a major break-through.

Shrinking plastic sheets are what makes it almost impossible to get into your lunch packet or your new electronic gadget, and in toyshops you can buy clear flat sheets of the material that will shrink when heated. Amongst other things it is used by kids and artists to paint on, because the colours become much more intense after heating and shrinking. One of the brands are "Skrinky Dinks". Sanjay Ram et al. has just published a paper in the respected periodical Nano Energy describing the use of this material for making a base layer in a new type of solar cells.

In the paper are also inputs from the group led by Rita Rizzoli at IMM - Bologna, Italy and Rui N. Pereira's group at the Aveiro University, Portugal.

The results stem from the project THINC, an international research effort financed by the Innovationsfonden (Danish Council for Strategic Research) and led by Aarhus University professor Peter Balling. 

IMM - Bologna was subcontractor of Aarhus University in the project THINC, together with Aveiro University.

Complete text of press release:  http://phys.au.dk/en/news/item/artikel/legetoej-danner-grundlag-for-ny-s...

More information:  Rita Rizzoli - CNR-IMM Bologna

Email: rizzoli@bo.imm.cnr.it
Phone: +39 051 6399129