Quality Factor of Luminescent Solar Concentrators and Practical Concentration Limits Attainable with Semiconductor Quantum Dots

Victor I. Klimov, Thomas A. Baker, Jaehoon Lim, Kirill A. Velizhanin, Hunter McDaniel

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65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) can be utilized as both large-Area collectors of solar radiation supplementing traditional photovoltaic cells as well as semitransparent "solar windows" that provide a desired degree of shading and simultaneously serve as power-generation units. An important characteristic of an LSC is a concentration factor (C) that can be thought of as a coefficient of effective enlargement (or contraction) of the area of a solar cell when it is coupled to the LSC. Here we use analytical and numerical Monte Carlo modeling in addition to experimental studies of quantum-dot-based LSCs to analyze the factors that influence optical concentration in practical devices. Our theoretical model indicates that the maximum value of C achievable with a given fluorophore is directly linked to the LSC quality factor (QLSC) defined as the ratio of absorption coefficients at the wavelengths of incident and reemitted light. In fact, we demonstrate that the ultimate concentration limit (C0) realized in large-Area devices scales linearly with the LSC quality factor and in the case of perfect emitters and devices without back reflectors is approximately equal to QLSC. To test the predictions of this model, we conduct experimental studies of LSCs based on visible-light emitting II-VI core/shell quantum dots with two distinct LSC quality factors. We also investigate devices based on near-infrared emitting CuInSexS2-x quantum dots for which the large emission bandwidth allows us to assess the impact of varied QLSC on the concentration factor by simply varying the detection wavelength. In all cases, we find an excellent agreement between the model and the experimental observations, suggesting that the developed formalism can be utilized for express evaluation of prospective LSC performance based on the optical spectra of LSC fluorophores, which should facilitate future efforts on the development of high-performance devices based on quantum dots as well as other types of emitters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1148
Number of pages11
JournalACS Photonics
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2016

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Keywords

  • LSC
  • LSC quality factor
  • concentration factor
  • luminescent solar concentrator
  • optical efficiency
  • quantum dot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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