Insect eyes inspire improved solar cells

Francesco Chiadini, Vincenzo Fiumara, Antonio Scaglione, Drew P. Pulsifer, Raúl J. Martín-Palma, Carlo G. Pantano, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

11 Scopus citations


Researchers are looking to the compound eyes of insects as a model for developing their unique approach to harvesting sunlight. Each compound eye comprises several cylindrical eyelets called ommatidia that are arrayed on a curved surface. Light propagating along the axis of an ommatidium is collected to form an image, but light propagating in other directions and reaching an ommatidium is absorbed by its dark side wall. The first phase requires the numerical simulation of light interacting with the air-silicon interface. A simplified two-dimensional bioinspired texturing of the exposed face was considered as the first step of this phase. Results indicated that the bioinspired textured solar cell exhibits light-coupling efficiency. A Nano4 technique has been developed to manufacture multiple high-fidelity replicas of a single biotemplate. The technique can produce multiple replicas simultaneously of multiple biotemplates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationOptics and Photonics News
StatePublished - Apr 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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