SPECTRACON is Consolidator Grant project awarded to Prof. Rachel Evans by the European Research Council.

Solar energy conversion will play a key role in our transition to a carbon-neutral society. However, single junction photovoltaic (PV) cells fail to achieve their theoretical efficiency due to an inability to harness all wavelengths of the solar spectrum. Spectral losses may be overcome through the addition of a spectral converter coating to the surface of a finished PV cell, which, through a photoluminescence process, converts solar photons into wavelengths suitable for use. Nonetheless, spectral converters currently fail to deliver their promise to significantly boost PV cell performance due to the difficulties of translating luminescent molecules from solution into efficient solid-state materials.

In SPECTRACON we take a “bottom-up” approach to the design of spectral converters by considering the lumophore-host material as an integrated unit, rather than discrete components. Our particular focus is on the use of organic-inorganic hybrid host systems that can be rationally engineered to deliver spectral converters with the tailored optical, structural, viscoelastic and mechanical properties needed for high performance solid-state conversion, which has so far been unattainable.

Research Highlights

Luminescent Solar Concentrators

Guanpeng Lyu, Thomas J. F. Southern, Bethan L. Charles, Maxime Roger, Philippe Gerbier, Sébastien Clément and Rachel C. Evans*, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2021, 9, 13914-13925.

Michael G. Debije*, Rachel C. Evans* and Gianmarco Griffini*, Energy and Environmental Science2021, 14, 293-301. 

E. Tatsi, G. Fortunato, B. Rigatelli, G. Lyu, S. Turri, R. C. Evans and G. Griffini*, ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2020, 3, 1152-1160. 

G. Lyu, J. Kendall, I. Meazzini, E Preis, S. Bayseç, U. Scherf, S. Clement, and R. C. Evans*, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2019, 1, 11, 3039-304.

Luminescent Downshifting Materials

Helen Tunstall-Garcia, Bethan L. Charles, and Rachel C. Evans*, Advanced Photonics Research2021, 2, 2000196.

Triplet-Triplet Annihilation Upconversion

Michael J. Bennison, Abigail C. Collins, Bolong Zhang and Rachel C. Evans*, Macromolecules2021, 54, 5287-5303. Front cover.