Nanoplasmonics recently has emerged as a new frontier of photovoltaic research. Noble metal nanostructures that can concentrate and guide light have demonstrated great capability for dramatically improving the energy conversion efficiency of both laboratory and industrial solar cells, providing an innovative pathway potentially transforming the solar industry. However, to make the nanoplasmonic technology fully appreciated by the solar industry, key challenges need to be addressed; including the detrimental absorption of metals, broadband light trapping mechanisms, cost of plasmonic nanomaterials, simple and inexpensive fabrication and integration methods of the plasmonic nanostructures, which are scalable for full size manufacture. This article reviews the recent progress of plasmonic solar cells including the fundamental mechanisms, material fabrication, theoretical modelling and emerging directions with a distinct emphasis on solutions tackling the above-mentioned challenges for industrial relevant applications.
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