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Proceedings Paper

Towards mass fabrication of hot embossed plant surface texture replicas as photovoltaic cover layers
Author(s): Benjamin Fritz; Markus Guttmann; Pere Casas Soler; Aiman Roslizar; Malte Langenhorst; Marc Schneider; Ulrich W. Paetzold; Bryce S. Richards; Ulrich Lemmer; Ruben Huenig; Guillaume Gomard
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Paper Abstract

We report on a fabrication route based on hot embossing lithography to replicate the surface texture of plants into large-area polymeric foils, with a view to developing multifunctional photovoltaic cover layers. Our approach is demonstrated by reproducing the complex texture of rose petals with a high fidelity from the nano-to the centimeter scale into different polymers, including poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), polycarbonate (PC) and fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP). We show that the hot embossed PMMA and PC foils, applied as a cover layer onto a copper indium gallium diselenide (Cu(In,Ga)Se2) thin-film solar cell, improve its light harvesting properties compared to (unencapsulated) devices based on an optimized MgF2 antireflective coating, especially at large angles of incidence (>50°). By employing a low surface free energy polymer like FEP, we further demonstrate that the textured cover layer can achieve strong hydrophobicity (with water contact angle around 135°) without any additional surface treatment. This wetting property results in droplets hitting the foil rapidly bouncing off its surface, which can be exploited for self-cleaning purposes. The bioreplication route presented herein can be extended to other biological surfaces, polymers, photovoltaic technologies or to other optical systems to introduce a light harvesting scheme operating efficiently in outdoor conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2018
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10730, Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices XV, 107300J (19 September 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2320555
Show Author Affiliations
Benjamin Fritz, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Markus Guttmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Pere Casas Soler, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Aiman Roslizar, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Malte Langenhorst, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Marc Schneider, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Ulrich W. Paetzold, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Bryce S. Richards, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Ulrich Lemmer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Ruben Huenig, Ctr. for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany)
Guillaume Gomard, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10730:
Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices XV
Balaji Panchapakesan; Anne E. Sakdinawat; André-Jean Attias; Elizabeth A. Dobisz, Editor(s)

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