APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Photovoltaic cells
- Consumer electronics
- Straightforward and efficient process
- Wide range of possible substrates
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a technology for the direct growth of 3D micro / nanostructures with the capacity to reduce light reflection while enhancing absorption efficiency. Specifically, the researchers have grown black Germanium (Ge) on low temperature substrates including plastics, glass, and rubber. The material is based on highly dense, crystalline/amorphous core/shell Ge nanoneedle arrays with ultrasharp tips (approx. 4 nm) enabled by the nickel catalyzed chemical vapor-solid-solid growth process.
Ge nanoneedle arrays exhibit remarkable optical properties including minimal optical reflectance (< 1 %), even for high angles of incidence (approx. 75°) and for relatively short nanoneedle lengths (approx. 1mm). Furthermore, the material exhibits high optical absorption efficiency with an effective band gap of approx. 1 eV.
STATUS: Published U. S. Patent Application, Pub. No. 2012/0161290 available at www.uspto.gov. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Chueh, Y.-L., Fan, A., Takei, K., Ko, H., Kapadia, R., Rathore, A.A., Miller, N., Yu, K., Wu, M., Haller, E.E., Javey, A. “Black Ge Based on Crystalline/Amorphous Core/Shell Nanoneedle Arrays,” NanoLetters, 2010, 10, 520-523.
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2829