Metal nanoparticles can increase the absorption of light within semiconductors and hence improve the efficiency of solar cells. Thermal dewetting is a low cost and large area nanoparticle fabrication technique that is readily integrated into solar cell fabrication lines. The downside of this technique is that is offers very little control over the surface coverage and three-dimensional shape of the nanoparticles. We demonstrate that ion beam milling and high temperature anneal can be used to gain control of these properties, thus allowing further optimization of the optical properties of metal nanoparticles for solar cell applications.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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