Metal Electrodes and Active Polymer Layers for Solar Cells

Case ID:

Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a method for creating nanostructured electrodes that is cost effective and that also gives patterns that possess excellent uniformity. The patterns consist of conductive nano-columns that have controllable diameters and spacings. This fabrication control allows the electrodes to be tuned to possess electrical properties that are suited for many kinds of applications. These applications can range from solar cells to other solid state devices such as LED’s and batteries. Any application where electrode surface area is of concern can find use for these improved surfaces.


Solar cell engineering is aimed at maximizing the charge mobility and charge collection from photoelectric events. Due to the short diffusion length of charge pairs produced by the photoactive material in solar cells, it is ideal for all portions of the photoactive material to be within close proximity of charge-collecting electrodes so that collection efficiency can be maximized. “Fingered electrodes” that contain nano-scaled gaps filled with photoactive material are commonly used to accomplish this. The low integrity and irregularity of such fine structures, however, often results in high losses in electrode efficiency. Finding the right materials and cost-effective methods for forming electrodes with good regularity and strength is therefore a primary goal of solar cell electrode development.


  • Low cost electrode processing methods
  • Good stability in nanostructures
  • Controllable dimensions in nano-scale features


  • Solar cells
  • LEDs
  • Batteries
  • Other solid state devices that depend on electrode surface area

Status: issued U.S. patent #8,859,423

Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Richard Weite
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Jayan Thomas
Nasser Peyghambarian
Robert Norwood
Palash Gangopadhyay