Light Management

Micro-optical design of photochemical upconverters for thin-film solar cells

[+] Author Affiliations
Tim F. Schulze

The University of Sydney, School of Chemistry, NSW 2006, Australia

Yuen Yap Cheng, Tony Khoury, Maxwell J. Crossley

The University of Sydney, School of Chemistry, NSW 2006, Australia

Bernd Stannowski

Competence Centre Thin Film and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB), Helmholtz‐Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, 12489 Berlin, Germany

Klaus Lips

Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics, Helmholtz‐Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, 12489 Berlin, Germany

Timothy W. Schmidt

The University of Sydney, School of Chemistry, NSW 2006, Australia

J. Photon. Energy. 3(1), 034598 (Feb 06, 2013). doi:10.1117/1.JPE.3.034598
History: Received October 22, 2012; Revised January 16, 2013; Accepted January 16, 2013
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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.

Figures in this Article
© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Tim F. Schulze ; Yuen Yap Cheng ; Tony Khoury ; Maxwell J. Crossley ; Bernd Stannowski, et al.
"Micro-optical design of photochemical upconverters for thin-film solar cells", J. Photon. Energy. 3(1), 034598 (Feb 06, 2013). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JPE.3.034598


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