Anti-reflective coatings (ARCs) have evolved into highly effective reflectance and glare reducing components for various optical and opto-electrical equipments. Extensive research in optical and biological reflectance minimization as well as the emergence of nanotechnology over the years has contributed to the enhancement of ARCs in a major way. In this study the prime objective is to give a comprehensive idea of the ARCs right from their inception, as they were originally conceptualized by the pioneers and lay down the basic concepts and strategies adopted to minimize reflectance. The different types of ARCs are also described in greater detail and the state-of-the-art fabrication techniques have been fully illustrated. The inspiration that ARCs derive from nature ('biomimetics') has been an area of major research and is discussed at length. The various materials that have been reportedly used in fabricating the ARCs have also been brought into sharp focus. An account of application of ARCs on solar cells and modules, contemporary research and associated challenges are presented in the end to facilitate a universal understanding of the ARCs and encourage future research. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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H. K. Raut, Ganesh, V. A., Nair, A. S., and Ramakrishna, S., “Anti-reflective coatings: A critical, in-depth review”, Energy and Environmental Science, vol. 4, pp. 3779-3804, 2011.