Purpose: The paper aims to determine the values of the main morphological characteristics of nanopatterns, which can be considered as the reference for use as surfaces of solar cells. Design/methodology/approach: The article uses an approach based on the definition of reference indicators of nanopatterns for solar cells by analysing the main parameters of solar cells and comparing them with the possible values of morphological parameters. Correlations of pore radius and visible wavelength, porosity and visible range, wavelength of de Broglie, nanopatterned layer thickness and charge carriers diffusion length, etc., are analysed. Compliance verification of morphological characteristics of nanopatterns with the specified criteria was performed on the example of porous silicon layers. Findings: The conducted research allowed to define the basic values of morphological parameters of porous nanopatterns, namely porousness, pore size (effective diameter), the thickness of the porous layer, and form factor. Reference ranges of morphological parameters of nanopatterns formed on the surface of semiconductors for applications in solar cells are established. Research limitations/implications: The article is devoted to the choice of optimal morphological characteristics of porous nanopatterns on the surface of semiconductors for solar cells. However, for solar cells, other types of nanopatterns can also be applied, for which it is also necessary to develop methods for selecting optimal parameters. Moreover, the prospect of research on this topic is to check the intrusion into a certain range of values of real nanopatterns formed on the surface of semiconductors. Practical implications: In the article the methodology allowing to choose optimal values of morphological parameters of nanopatterns for its application for solar cells is considered. Such studies are of great practical importance for the production of high-quality solar cells based on nanopatterned semiconductors. Originality/value: The article for the first time considers the choice of the nanopattern type and the ranges of morphological parameters in terms of quality assurance of the final product - the solar cell. It is determined that it is necessary to take into account such factors as porousness, pore size, thickness of the porous layer and roundness. A range of optimal values is selected for each of the indicators.