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Photonic Electrodes for Enhanced Light Management in Optoelectronic Devices

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - ENLIGHTMENT (Photonic Electrodes for Enhanced Light Management in Optoelectronic Devices)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2020-05-31

Dielectric and metallic photonic architectures can enhance light matter interaction by concentrating the electric field through resonances, increasing the light optical path by diffraction and many other interesting phenomena that cannot be achieved with traditional lenses and mirrors. Additionally, these architectures can surpass the upper limit of absorption enhancement for conventional light trapping schemes, becoming the ideal candidates to boost the light harvesting efficiency of many photovoltaic technologies. Furthermore, these photonic architectures have potential applications in many other optoelectronic devices, such as near field sensors and light emitters, where being able to concentrate or extract light efficiently is most valuable. However, the implementation of photonic architectures in actual devices has been limited by the expensive and low yield manufacturing processes involved in their fabrication.

ENLIGHTMENT is focused in the design, fabrication and characterization of a variety of photonic architectures to optically enhance the performance of emerging optoelectronic devices. To do so, we will investigate the fundaments of the enhanced light-matter interaction observed in devices that use wave optics elements and, design the optimum photonic nanostructure for each device type using current numerical simulation tools. We rely on unconventional nanofabrication routes such as soft nanolithography, transfer printing, etc. to fabricate photonic architectures that will exhibit exciting optical properties outperforming those fabricated with conventional lithographies, while easily and inexpensively incorporated in large area devices. Optically enhanced optoelectronic devices will be fabricated and optically and electrically characterized. Many optoelectronic devices can benefit from a new generation of photonic electrodes than can be easily implemented within their components. Seamless integration within current devices can be achieved if along with their optical functionality, these novel photonic electrodes also exhibit charge collection and transport capacities, potentially replacing conventional flat conductive electrodes.
During this first period of the project we have advanced in several fronts.

We have designed photonic architectures capable of boosting the light absorption of ultrathin films (below 100nm) of semiconductor. Our metasurfaces are capable of sustaining different resonant modes, Fabry-Perot, photonic-plasmonic modes that absorb light from visible to the near infrared and are independent to the angle of incidence. Furthermore, we have fabricated our prototypes via soft lithography, a scalable and roll-to-roll compatible technique and demonstrated experimentally, our predictions.
We are combining our soft lithography technique with unconventional materials in order to create new photonic architectures that are biocompatible and biodegradable. These novel photonic architectures will later on be implemented in devices exhibiting enhanced optical functionality.
We are developing a technique of soft lithography that enables the replication of nanofeatures using environmentally friendly resists and solvents. This technique will be a green alternative to the more contaminant methodologies currently used in the field.
In the Enlightment project, we are developing a new generation of photonic architectures exhibiting fascinating optical properties that can be easily integrated in current and emerging technologies. We have chosen soft lithography and solution processing as the main routes to fabricate these structures. Our main goal is to improve the performance of current optoelectronic devices with a methodology highly compatible with mass produced processes.
Overview of the Photonic Architectures fabricated in the group