Optical haze of transparent and conductive silver nanowire films
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Contemporary nanostructured transparent electrodes for use in solar cells require high transmittance and high conductivity, dictating nanostructures with high aspect ratios. Optical haze is an equally important yet unstudied parameter in transparent electrodes for solar cells that is also determined by the geometry of the nanostructures that compose the electrode. In this work, the effect of the silver nanowire diameter on the optical haze values in the visible spectrum was investigated using films composed of wires with either small diameters (∼60 nm) or large diameters (∼150 nm). Finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations and experimental transmittance data confirm that smaller diameter nanowires form higher performing transparent conducting electrode (TCE) films according to the current figure of merit. While maintaining near constant transmittance and conductivity for each film, however, it was observed experimentally that films composed of silver nanowires with larger diameters have a higher haze factor than films with smaller diameters. This confirms the FDTD simulations of the haze factor for single nanowires with similarly large and small diameters. This is the first record of haze properties for Ag NWs that have been simulated or experimentally measured, and also the first evidence that the current figure of merit for TCEs is insufficient to evaluate their performance in solar cell devices.
Keywordssolar cell transparent conducting electrode silver nanowire haze factor light trapping
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