A new kind of transparent and self-cleaning film for solar cells
A kind of one step and in situ etching method is developed to fabricate a highly optically transparent and flexible self-cleaning superhydrophobic film (SSF). This SSF exhibits a very rough surface morphology with hierarchical structure, which makes it have a contact angle of 154.6° and a sliding angle of smaller than 1°. And the SSF can also be self-cleaned in the wind. The SSF hierarchical structure scatters the incident light, but it almost doesn't attenuate the light. So the SSF has antireflection properties and a high light transmittance of 94%. The excellent self-cleaning property, high light transmittance and antireflection property mean that the SSF greatly enhances the performance of solar cells in practical working conditions. The solar cell's efficiency maintains at 95.8% of its initial value after covering with the SSF, which is about 1.7 times higher than that of the solar cell covered with dust, as in practical conditions.