Solar energy conversion

Jennifer Dionne and Alberto Salleo, division of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University

Objective

Only a small percentage of the solar power spectrum can be utilized by photovoltaic and photocatalytic products, which count on photon absorption. The outcome will allow a scalable, single-junction solar power mobile effective at using nearly the complete solar power spectrum, without the need for solar focus. The proposed technology is geared towards the development of low priced, highly efficient solar panels which will eradicate the largest hurdle to extensive solar-energy implementation – namely, the large expense per device power produced, which must take on an expense of $0.06/kW•hr for grid energy. The task focus would be the using solution-dispersed materials that will allow the using affordable and extremely scalable production technologies such as for example squirt finish.

Background

Existing photovoltaic and photocatalytic technologies can harvest just half power, since they will be typically incapable of use photons with energies below the cell bandgap – the actual quantity of power a photon needs to release an electron from its bond. These transmission losings severely limit the optimum photovoltaic effectiveness feasible with one junction device. As an example, an ideal single-junction solar cell with a bandgap of 1.7 eV wastes approximately 49per cent of the sun’s power. And transmission losings seriously limit the optimum photovoltaic performance possible with a single-junction unit.

In recent years, significant work has been directed at establishing green power technologies that reduce steadily the spectral mismatch between solar cells and also the solar power spectrum. Instead of adapting the active semiconducting level of a solar cellular to raised utilize sub-bandgap light, an upconverter enables you to reduce transmission losings. Applied behind a solar cellular, the upconverter transforms low-energy photons to higher-energy photons that can after that be consumed by the solar cellular and donate to photocurrent. Upconversion was seen in many products methods, including lanthanoid ions, change material ions, metal-ligand complexes and semiconducting quantum dots. These types of materials happen utilized for optical communications, photonic products and in vivo bioimaging.

Approach

Figure 1

Figure 1 illustrates a schematic of this upconverting solar power mobile design. An upconverting electrode is put behind the active semiconducting region of a cell to gather sent photons. The upconverter transforms the energies among these transmitted photons to energies that can be consumed because of the solar cell. The electrode is made from synthesized nanostructures, including upconverter-doped dielectric nanoparticles and silver nanowires, that can easily be deposited over huge areas by spray layer. While the upconverter-doped nanoparticles improve consumption of sunshine, the gold nanowires supply direct electrical contact into the cellular, allowing company extraction.

The cellular design is described as three revolutionary but essential variables: (1) decoupled optical and electrical parameters, (2) enhanced photon consumption above and below the bandgap, and (3) exemplary electric conductivity.

Analytic and computational models would be accustomed figure out the photovoltaic effectiveness enhancements which can be accomplished with this upconverter electrode. You will have three wide kinds of study: (1) fundamental photophysics of broadband solar power consumption, (2) new artificial techniques for affordable, solution-based processing, and (3) photovoltaic unit fabrication and characterization. Full-field simulations is going to be regularly model the nanophotonic properties of upconverting nanoparticles near plasmonic nanowires. Synthetic interest are provided to managing the form, dimensions and crystalline phase of upconverter-doped nanoparticles. Experiments will explore the electric and optical properties of the upconverting electrodes, including measurements of upconversion photoluminescence efficiencies, upconverter radiative lifetimes and electric transportation through nanoparticle-decorated nanowires. The proposal will culminate in photovoltaic cell fabrication and characterization utilizing the suggested upconverting electrodes.

Figure 2 reveals the way the three-level upconverting system will be mathematically modeled.

Recommendations

  • S. Baluschev, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 97, 143903 (2006).
  • R. Islangulov, et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 129, 12652 (2007).
Source: web.stanford.edu
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