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The pursuit of ever‐more efficient, reliable, and affordable solar cells has pushed the development of nano/micro‐technological solutions capable of boosting photovoltaic (PV) performance without significantly increasing costs. One of the most relevant solutions is based on light management via photonic wavelength‐sized structures, as these enable pronounced efficiency improvements by reducing reflection and by trapping the light inside the devices. Furthermore, optimized microstructured coatings allow self‐cleaning functionality via effective water repulsion, which reduces the accumulation of dust and particles that cause shading. Nevertheless, when it comes to market deployment, nano/micro‐patterning strategies can only find application in the PV industry if their integration does not require high additional costs or delays in high‐throughput solar cell manufacturing. As such, colloidal lithography (CL) is considered the preferential structuring method for PV, as it is an inexpensive and highly scalable soft‐patterning technique allowing nanoscopic precision over indefinitely large areas. Tuning specific parameters, such as the size of colloids, shape, monodispersity, and final arrangement, CL enables the production of various templates/masks for different purposes and applications. This review intends to compile several recent high‐profile works on this subject and how they can influence the future of solar electricity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1665
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Colloidal lithography
  • Light‐trapping
  • Photonics
  • Self‐cleaning
  • Thin‐film photovoltaics


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