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Journal of Photonics for Energy

Micro-optical design of photochemical upconverters for thin-film solar cells
Author(s): Tim F. Schulze; Yuen Yap Cheng; Tony H. Khoury; Maxwell Crossley; Bernd Stannowski; Klaus Lips; Timothy W. Schmidt
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Paper Abstract

All presently available types of solar cells transmit light with energies below their band gaps, foregoing energy. An elegant way toward overcoming these subbandgap losses and using a larger fraction of the incident light is the re‐shaping of the solar spectrum by upconversion (UC) of photons. Recently, first results on solar cells augmented by either lanthanide-based UC or triplet-triplet-annihilation UC in organic chromophores were presented. Both of these UC strategies are characterized by a nonlinear response on the illumination density under conditions relevant to solar energy conversion, opening a route for increasing the UC yield by concentrating the light. While operation of the whole cell under concentrated sunlight is in most cases undesirable, application of micro-optical focusing of the transmitted light in the upconverting layer is a promising strategy. In the present work, a more than two-fold enhancement of the current gain by UC behind an amorphous silicon solar cell through optimization of the upconverter optical design is demonstrated, including employing a focusing microstructured back reflector. The experimental data is rationalized using a simple ray tracing modeling approach, highlighting a further enhancement potential of a microstructured UC unit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 February 2013
PDF: 14 pages
J. Photon. Energy 3(1) 034598 doi: 10.1117/1.JPE.3.034598
Published in: Journal of Photonics for Energy Volume 3, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Tim F. Schulze, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Yuen Yap Cheng, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Tony H. Khoury, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Maxwell Crossley, The Univ. of Sydney (United States)
Bernd Stannowski, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH (Germany)
Klaus Lips, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH (Germany)
Timothy W. Schmidt, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)

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