To maximize the incident light, moth-eye nano-patterns were formed on a glass plate that was used as the protection glass for photovoltaic systems. These moth-eye nano-patterns were formed using a nano-imprint lithography process and increased the transmittance of the glass plate by minimizing the reflection of light at the surface. After the formation of the moth-eye nano-patterns, the surface was coated with a trichloro-silane based self-assembled monolayer in order to create a hydrophobic surface because the hydrophobic surface induced a self-cleaning effect. The transmittance of the glass plate increased from 91 to 94% at wavelength of 500 nm after the moth-eye structure was introduced. Thus, the short circuit current (JSC) of the I–V characteristics and the charged capacity of the photovoltaic system increased up to 6% after replacing the conventional protection glass with the moth-eye nano-patterned glass. The durability of the moth-eye nano-patterns was evaluated with respect to an acidic environment, high temperatures and UV irradiation. From these evaluation results, the values of the transmittance and contact angle did not decrease after the nano-patterns were soaked in sulfuric acid solutions with a pH of 2.0 for 48 h, exposed to a temperature of 120°C for 48 h, and irradiated 10 times with UV light for 4 h. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.