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Department of Physics

Professors Kempa and Herczyński coauthor a paper in Nature Communications


A paper by professors Kempa and Herczyński, with collaborators at South China Normal University (Gaungzhou), was recently published in journal Nature Communications. The paper, titled Optimization of hierarchical structure and nanoscale-enabled plasmonic refraction for window electrodes in photovoltaics, is the second by the team in this prestigious journal. The first, published in 2014, demonstrated superior optoelectronic performance of electrodes based on leaf venation systems, spider webs, and other natural networks. In the sequel, it is shown theoretically and experimentally that quasi-fractal networks, such as leaf veins, provide a near-perfect practical realization of an ideal electrode. More broadly, the work indicates that hierarchal topology, rather than details of the branching geometry, are of primary importance in photovoltaic applications, which establishes a new paradigm for designing optimal solar cells and other optoelectronic devices. The paper is available online at