The project is aimed at acquiring the fundamental knowledge on formation, optical, electrical, and thermal properties of nano-structured solar cells by combination of fabrication, characterization, and modeling methods. We will investigate possibilities o f enhancing efficiency of different inorganic solar cells by embedding metallic nano-dots in the transparent conducting oxide layer (as well in SiNx and a-Si:H). The main idea is to make use of plasma resonances in the dots for improving coupling of the i ncident light with the active layer by enhancing conversion of the incident light to the wave guide modes of the semiconductor structures. Moreover, we will study the variation of the conductance of the TCO and a-Si:H layers with embedded metallic nano-do ts. To reach this goal we will combine theoretical studies of the distribution of the electromagnetic field in the structures and oscillator strengths of the optical transitions in the active layer with fabrication and extensive experimental studies of op tical, electrical, and thermal properties of relevant structures. Based on this research involving both traditional and original fabrication and characterization methods, we will evaluate feasibility of the surface plasmon approach for optimizing solar ce lls and work out recommendations for solar cell production. These recommendations will be tested experimentally and used for innovative construction of solar cells and light emitting diodes.