There will be a huge impact on development of photovoltaics if the energy conversion efficiency (ECE) can be further enhanced using low-cost strategy, because ECE promotion under the promise of low-cost is very challenging. Here we show a simple, controllable, and low-cost approach to create wrinkles and nanogaps on a shrink polymer substrate as a photocathode, demonstrating an ECE enhancement of 34% in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The wrinkles and nanogaps can be generated based on the stress mismatch between surface coated nanomaterials and shrink polymer substrate during heat shrink process. With the assistance of shrink induced nanostructures on light trapping and manipulation, the incident photon to current conversion efficiency of DSSCs is greatly enhanced. We anticipate that the controllable shrink induced nanostructures represent a general low-cost approach to accelerate the development of photovoltaic devices with higher ECE.

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