2015 is the International Year of Light, proclaimed by the United Nations to recognize the achievements of light science and its applications, and its contributions to humankind. It will raise special attention for major topics and key technologies in the field of optics and photonics. Advanced Optical Materials contributes to this goal through publishing a special series of outstanding review articles.
Micro-and nanophotonics have recently drawn a lot of attention due to their possible implications for photovoltaic applications. Light-trapping mechanisms based on nanostructures can enhance light absorption in thin-film solar cells without changing their material composition. This is an important research field to optimize the performance of future solar cells. In their review, D. Wiersma and co-workers (Università di Firenze), give an overview on the latest achievements in this field and focus on the optical performances of speciﬁc designs with photonic and plasmonic structures that can be used to maximize the absorption of the incident light. They pay particular attention to the realization of prototypes, spanning from deterministic to disordered photonic architectures, and from dielectric to metallic nanostructures.
The full series can be found at www.advopticalmat.de/IYL. All articles will be published in Advanced Optical Materials and added to this virtual issue over the year.