Solar Energy, Vol.204, 738-747, 2020
Antireflective design of Si-based photovoltaics via biomimicking structures on black butterfly scales
The naturally evolved sunlight harvesters are not limited to foliage. Animals also harvest sunlight for light-heat conversion. A typical antireflective and light-trapping scheme has been well demonstrated on thin butterfly scales where solar energy is converted to heat besides being diffracted for surface coloration. Biomimicking scale structures offers a unique route to enhance light harvesting efficiencies happening on manmade solar cells. Herein, we performed a computational investigation of using microstructures on black butterflies for solar cell efficiency enhancement. Scale microstructures were obtained from nine species of black butterflies and employed as coating structures in numerical models built on Si-slabs. Introducing butterfly wing structures not only reduces the light reflection and transmittance but also increases the light absorption within Si-slabs. Surface reflection was decreased down to 10%, and the short-circuit current was increased by 66% correspondingly. An antireflection design strategy is given and hoped to benefit light harvesting in Si-based solar cells eventually.