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Photonic micro/nano-structures in the wave-optics regime have shown to be a promising strategy for effective broadband light capture in ultra-thin devices, opening a window of opportunity for cheap, efficient, lightweight and flexible photovoltaics (PV). Here we design, from an optical standpoint, a novel industrially-attractive concept where light trapping is obtained by conformably depositing the solar cell materials onto previously-patterned photonic substrates. This solution is applied and optimized for perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with distinct thicknesses of the perovskite absorber - the conventional (500 nm) and ultra-thin (300 nm) in view of enhanced flexibility - yielding photocurrent improvements up to 22.8% in superstrate cell configuration and 24.4% in substrate-type configuration; thereby coming relatively close to the fundamental Lambertian limits. Furthermore, these structures also show an omni-direction optical response for incidence angles up to 70° for all cases, therefore demonstrating the viability of this light trapping method for implementation in flexible PV devices operating under bending. The photonic-enhanced ultra-thin solar cells designed here ultimately support the reduction of material usage in PSC technology, which is especially beneficial to mitigate lead usage, without impacting the device's performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100720
JournalApplied Materials Today
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Flexibility and photocurrent enhancement
  • Light trapping
  • Perovskite solar cells
  • Photonics
  • Photovoltaics


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