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Issue 8, 2012
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Photon frequency management for trapping & concentration of sunlight

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Abstract

This paper considers a range of techniques which – within the realm of classical optics – can be used to enhance light capture as a first step in photovoltaic energy conversion. Examples include a simple case of downshifting, fluorescent collectors which reduce the size of a light beam, and a novel form of light trapping to increase the path length of light within the solar cell. The results are discussed using a thermodynamic framework where the energy exchange with an absorbing/fluorescent medium allows the entropy of the captured photon gas to be lowered, reducing the étendue of the emitted beam. We show that frequency management represents a powerful tool, allowing enhancement in light trapping above the Yablononovitch limit, leading to potentially highly efficient but very thin crystalline silicon solar cells.

Graphical abstract: Photon frequency management for trapping & concentration of sunlight

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Article information


Submitted
22 Nov 2011
Accepted
23 Nov 2011
First published
30 Jan 2012

RSC Adv., 2012,2, 3173-3179
Article type
Review Article

Photon frequency management for trapping & concentration of sunlight

T. Markvart, L. Danos, L. Fang, T. Parel and N. Soleimani, RSC Adv., 2012, 2, 3173
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA01160C

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