Solar spectral conversion based on plastic films of lanthanide-doped ionosilicas for photovoltaics: Down-shifting layers and luminescent solar concentrators


The mismatch between the photovoltaic (PV) cells absorption and the solar irradiance on earth is one of the major limitations towards more efficient PV energy conversion. This aspect was addressed by downshifting the solar irradiance on Earth through luminescent down-shifting layers based on lanthanidedoped surface-functionalized ionosilicas (ISs) embedded in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) coated on the surface of commercial Si-based PV cells. The IS-PMMA hybrid materials exhibit efficient solar radiation harvesting (spectral overlap of similar to 9.5 x 10(19) photonsg/(s.m(2))) and conversion (quantum yield similar to 52%). The direct solar radiation and the down-shifted radiation are partially guided and lost through total internal reflection to the layer edges being unavailable for PV conversion of the coated PV cell. By tuning the down-shifting layer thickness, it also acts as luminescent solar concentrator enabling the collection of the guided radiation by flexible PV cells applied on the borders of the down-shifting layer leading to an enhancement of the PV energy conversion from similar to 5% (in the case of the single-use of the luminescent down-shifting layer) to similar to 13% comparing with the bare PV cell. The overall electrical output of the device resulted in an absolute external quantum efficiency increase of similar to 32% for the optimized Eu3+-based films in the UV spectral region (compared with the bare PV device, which is among the best values reported so far). (C) 2020 Chinese Society of Rare Earths. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



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Cardoso, MA; Correia, SFH; Frias, AR; Goncalves, HMR; Pereira, RFP; Nunes, SC; Armand, M; Andre, PS; Bermudez, VD; Ferreira, RAS

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Project supported by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership in the frame of Operational Competitiveness and Internationalization Programme (projects UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020, UID/EEA/50008/2020, UID/QUI/50006/2019, CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-030186, CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000005, Pest-OE/QUI/UI0616/2014, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016884, PTDC/CTM-NAN/0956/2014, UID/QUI/00686/2016, UID/QUI/00686/2018, UID/QUI/00686/2019 and NORTE-01-0145FEDER-030858).

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