Journal article

UV-nanoimprint lithography and large area roll-to-roll texturization with hyperbranched polymer nanocomposites for light-trapping applications

Light-trapping textures were produced in hyperbranched polymer (HBP) silica nanocomposites using a UV-nanoimprint lithography (UVNIL) replication method, either in batch or roll-to-roll processes. The hardness of the HBP was found to increase by a factor of 2.5 with the addition of 50 vol% of nanoparticles. A nickel master with random sub-micron pyramidal structures was used to imprint nanocomposites containing up to 20 vol% of silica on a polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrate. The influence of nanoparticle fraction and pressure on the texture morphology and light scattering properties of the replicas was studied using scanning electron microscopy and optical analysis. The roughness and coherence length of the textures were similar to those of the master for all investigated compositions and process pressures. Likewise, the light scattering performance of aluminum-coated texturized nanocomposites was identical to that of the metal template, with a haze of 90% over the 400–800 nm spectral range. Thin film amorphous silicon solar cells were deposited on the texturized substrates using a large-area roll-to-roll process. The photocurrent of these devices was found to be 23% higher than the reference value of a flat cell.

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