Design and large-scale nanofabrication of plasmonic solar light absorbers

M. Serra Gonzalez*, M. Keil, R. Deshpande, S. Kadkhodazadeh, N. Okulova, Rafael Taboryski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Surface plasmon resonances have been exploited for many applications due to their tunability, which is directly related to the geometry of nanostructures. Based on their dimension and material stack, the resonances can be tailored to achieve high absorbing or reflecting nanopatterned surfaces designed for specific wavelengths. While the preferred lithographic printing techniques in the field allow high precision and control of the structures, they are limited in throughput, thus restricting possible large-scale applications. In this work, we present a full process flow, which can produce hundreds of square meters of nanopillar arrays by combining resolution enhancement techniques (RETs) on a deep-UV stepper for fabricating a silicon master and roll-to-roll extrusion coating (R2R-EC) for its replication. We demonstrate optimized exposures with the combination of dipole off-axis illumination, triple cross-exposure, and the addition of assisted features on the mask design. By simulating the RETs compared to a conventional setup, we show how lithographic parameters such as the normalized image log-slope (NILS) improve from 0.90 to 2.05 or the resist image contrast (RIC) increases from 0.429 to 0.813. We confirm these results by printing wafer-size hexagonal and rectangular arrays of nanopillars with 340, 350, and 360 nm pitches and diameters ranging from 100 to 200 nm. We show the successful replication of both designs by R2R-EC, an industrial process, which produces hundred-meter rolls of patterned polymer. We demonstrate that after metallization, the samples are suitable for solar absorption by measuring their absorptance (absorbed to incident intensity) and comparing it with the solar irradiance peak. We achieve a 70% efficiency for both hexagonal and rectangular arrays at resonant peaks of 550 and 600 nm, respectively, where the hexagonal array better matches the solar irradiance peak. Additionally, the plasmonic samples block 78% of the heat radiation when compared to a plain black polymer foil for reference, making them more efficient for solar harvesting applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number063601
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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