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Issue 5, 2012
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Improving the light-harvesting of amorphous silicon solar cells with photochemical upconversion

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Abstract

Single-threshold solar cells are fundamentally limited by their ability to harvest only those photons above a certain energy. Harvesting below-threshold photons and re-radiating this energy at a shorter wavelength would thus boost the efficiency of such devices. We report an increase in light harvesting efficiency of a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin-film solar cell due to a rear upconvertor based on sensitized triplet–triplet-annihilation in organic molecules. Low energy light in the range 600–750 nm is converted to 550–600 nm light due to the incoherent photochemical process. A peak efficiency enhancement of (1.0 ± 0.2)% at 720 nm is measured under irradiation equivalent to (48 ± 3) suns (AM1.5). We discuss the pathways to be explored in adapting photochemical UC for application in various single threshold devices.

Graphical abstract: Improving the light-harvesting of amorphous silicon solar cells with photochemical upconversion

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Article information


Submitted
17 Jan 2012
Accepted
09 Feb 2012
First published
09 Feb 2012

Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 6953-6959
Article type
Paper

Improving the light-harvesting of amorphous silicon solar cells with photochemical upconversion

Y. Y. Cheng, B. Fückel, R. W. MacQueen, T. Khoury, R. G. C. R. Clady, T. F. Schulze, N. J. Ekins-Daukes, M. J. Crossley, B. Stannowski, K. Lips and T. W. Schmidt, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 6953
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE21136J

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