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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)