Jan 24, 2012
Antibody-assisted self-assembly applied to solar cells
Researchers in Taiwan have applied antibody-assisted self-assembly to the fabrication of a moth-eye anti-reflection layer used for solar cells and displays. The antibody processing skips a major part of semiconductor processing, which could help to make device assembly more environmentally friendly.
Nanopillar arrays, referred to as moth-eye structures, have been developed to form transition layers that efficiently suppress reflection in optical and optoelectronic devices. Many lithographic processes, such as photolithography, electron-beam lithography, nanoimprint lithography and laser interference lithography, may be used to fabricate antireflective moth-eye structures in a top-down fashion.
In this work, a simple framework based on bottom-up assembly has been applied to generate moth-like nanopillar arrays. Silicon nanorods were first crossed-linked with antibodies that recognize gold nanoparticles (GNPs) and then dropped on to an aluminum oxide nanopore array pre-deposited with GNPs.
Insertion of the rods into the pores was accomplished by centrifugation. The team obtained an optimal success rate of more than 95% (without antibodies, the insertion rate was virtually zero).
The fabricated nanopillar arrays showed high levels of antireflective efficiency (95%) across a broad range of wavelengths (300–1300 nm). Nanopillar arrays with a mixture of nanorod lengths can be made.
The application of bio-nano interaction provides an economic, energy-saving, time-saving and high-throughput approach to manipulating objects on the nanoscale. The use of bio-nano technology will greatly reduce hazardous chemical usage and energy consumption in the manufacturing process.
More details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.
About the author
G Steve Huang is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. He studies the basic rules governing bio-nano interaction and their applications in molecular electronics and tissue engineering.