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​ New Energy Source and Materials Institution, at School of Materials Science and Engineering, developed a novel light trapping nanostructure

Recently, the research paper of New Energy Source and Materials Institution, at School of Materials Science and Engineering, about efficient light arrestor, named “CdS Nanoflake Arrays for Highly Efficient Light Trapping”, was published in the Advanced Materials and chosen as a cover paper.

Light absorption is one of the crucial factors that dominates the photon–electron conversion (PEC) efficiency of solar cells. The solar cells consisting of nanostructure result in an optical loss because of the random light scattering seriously. So, the research group of Prof. Du Xiwen at New Energy Source and Materials Institution conducted the research aiming at the above question, designed the sponge structure and inverse opal structure to absorb light efficiently, and developed nanoflake arrays(NFAs) for highly efficient light trapping recently.

First, they synthesized metal NFAs by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process, which then were sulfurized and transformed into semiconductor NFAs. Nanoflakes ha the size larger than the visible light, form specific angel among flakes to constitute cavity area for light trapping, and achieve that light cannot escape after multiple reflections among flakes. Using this structure for light trapping, light absorptivity of the device can achieve over 95%. As a matrix to load the organic coating, the structure assist the light absorptivity of the organic coating higher than 95% to overcome the mismatch of the thickness and exciton diffusion free path of organic light-absorbing layer. When the array was applied in organic or inorganic hybrid cells, comparing with traditional membrane structures, the photocurrent has a 10 times improvement. The above work was published in the journals such as Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, and Advanced Materials Interfaces.

The quantum dots materials and devices research group headed by Prof. Du Xiwen is mainly engaged in work of synthesizing quantum dots via lasers and solar energy application, with publishing a lot of research papers in internationally famous journals such as Nature Communications、JACS、Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.、Adv. Mater. In addition, the research of controllable lasers synthesis nanostructures was selected as a research highlight in the Nature China and the article of designing a novel solar cell with spongy structure was selected a cover paper.

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Photo caption: the journal’s cover takes “CdS Nanoflake Arrays for Highly Efficient Light Trapping” as the topic