Efficiency enhancement of organic and thin-film silicon solar cells with photochemical upconversion

Tim F. Schulze, Jens Czolk, Yuen Yap Cheng, Burkhard Fückel, Rowan W. Macqueen, Tony Khoury, Maxwell J Crossley, Bernd Stannowski, Klaus Lips, Uli Lemmer, Alexander Colsmann, Timothy W. Schmidt

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The efficiency of thin-film solar cells with large optical band gaps, such as organic bulk heterojunction or amorphous silicon solar cells, is limited by their inability to harvest the (infra)red part of the solar spectrum. Photochemical upconversion based on triplet-triplet annihilation (TTA-UC) can potentially boost those solar cells by absorbing sub-bandgap photons and coupling the upconverted light back into the solar cell in a spectral region that the cell can efficiently convert into electrical current. In the present study we augment two types of organic solar cells and one amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cell with a TTA-upconverter, demonstrating a solar cell photocurrent increase of up to 0.2% under a moderate concentration (19 suns). The behavior of the organic solar cells, whose augmentation with an upconverting device is so-far unreported, is discussed in comparison to a-Si:H solar cells. Furthermore, on the basis of the TTA rate equations and optical simulations, we assess the potential of TTA-UC augmented solar cells and highlight a strategy for the realization of a device-relevant current increase by TTA-upconversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22794-22801
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

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