Increased upconversion performance for thin film solar cells: a trimolecular composition
Photochemical upconversion based on triplet–triplet annihilation (TTA-UC) is employed to enhance the short-circuit currents generated by two varieties of thin-film solar cells, a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cell and a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC). TTA-UC is exploited to harvest transmitted sub-bandgap photons, combine their energies and re-radiate upconverted photons back towards the solar cells. In the present study we employ a dual-emitter TTA-UC system which allows for significantly improved UC quantum yields as compared to the previously used single-emitter TTA systems. In doing so we achieve record photo-current enhancement values for both the a-Si:H device and the DSC, surpassing 10−3 mA cm−2 sun−2 for the first time for a TTA-UC system and marking a record for upconversion-enhanced solar cells in general. We discuss pertinent challenges of the TTA-UC technology which need to be addressed in order to achieve its viable device application.