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Sinanowires (Si NWs), as one of the fundamental building blocks for nano sciences and technologies, have attracted significant attention recently for solar cell applications, owing to the following: (1) Si NWs can significantly reduce materials consumption, and thus the solar cells fabrication cost; (2) NWs' capability to decouple light trapping and carrier collection, which is critical to achieve high power conversion efficiency. In this paper, recent progress on aligned-Si-NW-based solar cells are reviewed from optical and electrical characteristics to experimental demonstrations. Based on the understanding of each preparation process, the issues regarding the realization of highly efficient Si NW based solar cells are discussed.
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