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Issue 12, 2011
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Upconverter solar cells: materials and applications

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Spectral conversion of sunlight is a promising route to reduce spectral mismatch losses that are responsible for the major part of the efficiency losses in solar cells. Both upconversion and downconversion materials are presently explored. In an upconversion process, photons with an energy lower than the band gap of the solar cell are converted to higher energy photons. These higher photons are directed back to the solar cell and absorbed, thus increasing the efficiency. Different types of upconverter materials are investigated, based on luminescent ions or organic molecules. Proof of principle experiments with lanthanide ion based upconverters have indicated that the benefit of an upconversion layer is limited by the high light intensities needed to reach high upconversion quantum efficiencies. To address this limitation, upconverter materials may be combined with quantum dots or plasmonic particles to enhance the upconversion efficiency and improve the feasibility of applying upconverters in commercial solar cells.

Graphical abstract: Upconverter solar cells: materials and applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 May 2011, accepted on 20 Jun 2011 and first published on 11 Aug 2011

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01659H
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 4835-4848
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    Upconverter solar cells: materials and applications

    J. de Wild, A. Meijerink, J. K. Rath, W. G. J. H. M. van Sark and R. E. I. Schropp, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 4835
    DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01659H

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