Self-Cleaning Antireflective Optical Coatings

Stefan Guldin, Peter Kohn, Morgan Stefik, Juho Song, Giorgio Divitini, Fanny Ecarla, Caterina Ducati, Ulrich Wiesner, Ullrich Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Low-cost antireflection coatings (ARCs) on large optical surfaces are an ingredient-technology for high-performance solar cells. While nanoporous thin films that meet the zero-reflectance conditions on transparent substrates can be cheaply manufactured, their suitability for outdoor applications is limited by the lack of robustness and cleanability. Here, we present a simple method for the manufacture of robust self-cleaning ARCs. Our strategy relies on the self-assembly of a block-copolymer in combination with silica-based sol-gel chemistry and preformed TiO2 nanocrystals. The spontaneous dense packing of copolymer micelles followed by a condensation reaction results in an inverse opal-type silica morphology that is loaded with TiO2 photocatalytic hot-spots. The very low volume fraction of the inorganic network allows the optimization of the antireflecting properties of the porous ARC despite the high refractive index of the embedded photocatalytic TiO2 nanocrystals. The resulting ARCs combine high optical and self-cleaning performance and can be deposited onto flexible plastic substrates. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5329-5335
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 18 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: This publication is based on work supported in part by Award No. KUS-C1-018-02 made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement 246124 of the SANS project, the EPSRC (EP/F056702/1 and EP/F065884/1), the Department of Energy (DE-FG02 87ER45298) through the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute (CFCI) and the National Science Foundation (DMR-1104773). S.G. is grateful for support by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Fellowship LPDS2012-13. M.S. is grateful to the University of South Carolina for startup funds. The authors greatly appreciate the invaluable help of Dr. Benjamin Schmidt-Hansberg and Dr. Mathias Kolle.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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