Repurposing Blu-ray movie discs as quasi-random nanoimprinting templates for photon management

Alexander J. Smith, Chen Wang, Dongning Guo, Cheng Sun*, Jiaxing Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quasi-random nanostructures have attracted significant interests for photon management purposes. To optimize such patterns, typically very expensive fabrication processes are needed to create the pre-designed, subwavelength nanostructures. While quasi-random photonic nanostructures are abundant in nature (for example, in structural coloration), interestingly, they also exist in Blu-ray movie discs, an already mass-produced consumer product. Here we uncover that Blu-ray disc patterns are surprisingly well suited for light-trapping applications. While the algorithms in the Blu-ray industrial standard were developed with the intention of optimizing data compression and error tolerance, they have also created quasi-random arrangement of islands and pits on the final media discs that are nearly optimized for photon management over the solar spectrum, regardless of the information stored on the discs. As a proof-of-concept, imprinting polymer solar cells with the Blu-ray patterns indeed increases their efficiencies. Simulation suggests that Blu-ray patterns could be broadly applied for solar cells made of other materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5517
JournalNature communications
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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