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Unlocking Higher Power Efficiencies in Luminescent Solar Concentrators through Anisotropic Luminophore Emission

van der Burgt, Julia S. and Needell, David R. and Veeken, Tom and Polman, Albert and Garnett, Erik C. and Atwater, Harry A. (2021) Unlocking Higher Power Efficiencies in Luminescent Solar Concentrators through Anisotropic Luminophore Emission. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13 (34). pp. 40742-40753. ISSN 1944-8244. doi:10.1021/acsami.1c12547.

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The luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) offers a potential pathway for achieving low-cost, fixed-tilt light concentration. Despite decades of research, conversion efficiency for LSC modules has fallen far short of that achievable by geometric concentrators. However, recent advances in anisotropically emitting nanophotonic structures could enable a significant step forward in efficiency. Here, we employ Monte Carlo ray-trace modeling to evaluate the conversion efficiency for anisotropic luminophore emission as a function of photoluminescence quantum yield, waveguide concentration, and geometric gain. By spanning the full LSC parameter space, we define a roadmap toward high conversion efficiency. An analytical function is derived for the dark radiative current of an LSC to calculate the conversion efficiency from the ray-tracing results. We show that luminescent concentrator conversion efficiency can be increased from the current record value of 7.1–9.6% by incorporating anisotropy. We provide design parameters for optimized luminescent solar concentrators with practical geometrical gains of 10. Using luminophores with strongly anisotropic emission and high (99%) quantum yield, we conclude that conversion efficiencies beyond 28% are achievable. This analysis reveals that for high LSC performance, waveguide losses are as important as the luminophore quantum yield.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Needell, David R.0000-0001-8343-5883
Veeken, Tom0000-0002-6235-7836
Polman, Albert0000-0002-0685-3886
Garnett, Erik C.0000-0002-9158-8326
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Additional Information:© 2021 American Chemical Society. Received: July 3, 2021; Accepted: August 5, 2021; Published: August 19, 2021. This work was supported in part by the Engineering Research Center Program of the National Science Foundation and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy under NSF Cooperative Agreement no. EEC-1041895 and the Space Solar Power Project. This work is also supported in part by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). This work was carried out in part on the Dutch national e-infrastructure with the support of SURF Cooperative. The authors thank the Resnick Institute for Sustainability at the California Institute of Technology for their continued support. The authors thank Lenneke Slooff for her help with implementing the current record luminescent solar concentrator in the Monte Carlo model. Author Contributions: J.S.v.d.B., D.R.N., and T.V. contributed equally to this work. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Group:Resnick Sustainability Institute, Space Solar Power Project
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Resnick Sustainability InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Absorption, Power conversion efficiency, Solar cells, Quantum mechanics, Gallium arsenide
Issue or Number:34
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210830-230028706
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Unlocking Higher Power Efficiencies in Luminescent Solar Concentrators through Anisotropic Luminophore Emission. Julia S. van der Burgt, David R. Needell, Tom Veeken, Albert Polman, Erik C. Garnett, and Harry A. Atwater. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2021 13 (34), 40742-40753; DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c12547
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110625
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:31 Aug 2021 17:17
Last Modified:17 Sep 2021 22:36

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