Practically every solar cell has an anti-reflective coating, since the fewer photons that bounce off of the surface, the more of them can be converted into stored electrical charges. Scientists have recently found that by growing tiny forests of nanowires on crystalline silicon solar cells, they can significantly enhance the anti-reflective properties of the cells. Fabricating these devices is time-consuming and often expensive, so simulations are used to optimize the arrangement and shape of the nanowires ahead of time. But anti-reflection by itself isn't enough: if the photons are absorbed by the nanowires before they make it into the silicon itself, they become dissipated as heat instead of stored as electrical charge. In this Applied Optics article, Duan et al. consider the nanowires separately from the substrate in a series of simulations, trying to optimize both the anti-reflectivity and the absorption by the silicon. They find that to optimize both quantities at the same time, it's best to create nanowires with a square footprint and an "Eiffel tower" shape (with an extruded sharp point), and to pack them together as tightly as possible.
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