Large scale, flexible and three-dimensional quasi-ordered aluminum nanospikes for thin film photovoltaics with omnidirectional light trapping and optimized electrical design†
Nanostructured photovoltaics has attracted an enormous amount of attention in recent years owing to its potency for significant device performance enhancement over the conventional technologies. Nonetheless, conventional fabrication approaches for nanostructured scaffolds rely on glass or silicon substrates which are costly, brittle and have limited scalability. Meanwhile, rational design guidelines for optical and electrical performance optimization of solar cells are of urgent need for their practical applications. In this work, flexible and quasi-ordered three-dimensional (3-D) nanospike (NSP) arrays are fabricated on a reasonable large scale with well controlled geometry. Systematic investigations by experiments discovered that photovoltaic devices based on NSPs with optimal geometry can accommodate the trade-off between optical absorption and electrical performance, demonstrating a power conversion efficiency of 7.92%, which is among the highest efficiency reported for single junction a-Si:H solar cells on a flexible substrate. Furthermore, we have demonstrated the superior omnidirectional device performance by utilizing such a 3-D NSP. This unique feature is of paramount importance for practical photovoltaic applications.