We present a self-organizedmethod based on defocused ion beamsputtering for nanostructuring glass substrates which feature antireflective and light trapping effects. By irradiating the substrate, capped with a thin gold (Au) film, a self-organized Au nanowire stencil mask is firstly created. The morphology of the mask is then transferred to the glass surface by further irradiating the substrate, finally producing high aspect ratio, uniaxial ripple-like nanostructures whose morphological parameters can be tailored by varying the ion fluence. The effect of a Ti adhesion layer, interposed between glass and Au with the role of inhibiting nanowire dewetting, has also been investigated in order to achieve an improved morphological tunability of the templates. Morphological and optical characterization have been carried out, revealing remarkable light trapping performance for the largest ion fluences. The photon harvesting capability of the nanostructured glass has been tested for different preparation conditions by fabricating thin film amorphous Si solar cells. The comparison of devices grown on textured and flat substrates reveals a relative increase of the short circuit current up to 25%. However, a detrimental impact on the electrical performance is observed with the rougher morphologies endowed with steep v-shaped grooves. We finally demonstrate that post-growth ion beam restructuring of the glass template represents a viable approach toward improved electrical performance.
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