Luminescent solar concentrators and spectral converters

Fundamental spectral losses constitute the largest source of inefficiency in every developed photovoltaic technology. These losses arise due to ineffective harvesting of high (UV) and low (near-IR) energy photons at the boundaries of the solar spectrum. This can be ameliorated through the application of a photoactive layer, that is extrinsic to the photovoltaic device itself, and is able to effectively harvest light in the UV or NIR regions and convert it to photons whose energies are more favourably matched to the spectral window of the solar cell. There are two photophysical approaches that can be exploited to achieve this: (i) luminescent solar concentration/down-shifting (LSC/LDS) and (ii) upconversion (UC).

Our group is interested in the development of novel multifunctional organic-inorganic hybrid materials for spectral conversion applications that specifically overcome the limitations of the materials traditionally employed. This includes: (1) new coordination and templating approaches to control lumophore placement and orientation within the host material, thereby limiting losses due to reabsorption; (2) the design of novel high refractive index materials to inhibit waveguide losses in LSCs; (3) new barrier/encapsulant materials to extend the device lifetime.

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Recent examples

Targeted Design Leads to Tunable Photoluminescence from Perylene Dicarboxdiimide–Poly(oxyalkylene)/Siloxane Hybrids for Luminescent Solar Concentrators, I. Meazzini, N. Willis-Fox, C. Blayo, J. Arlt, S. Clément, R. C. Evans*, J. Mater. Chem. C., 2016, 4, 4049-4059.

Design and Response of High-Efficiency Planar Doped Luminescent Solar Concentrators using Organic-Inorganic Di-Ureasil Waveguides, A. Kaniyoor, B. McKenna, S. Comby, R. C. Evans*, Adv. Opt. Mater., 2016, 4, 444-456.

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