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Upconversion for photovoltaics - A review of materials, devices and concepts for performance enhancement

: Goldschmidt, J.C.; Fischer, S.


Advanced optical materials 3 (2015), No.4, pp.510-535
ISSN: 2195-1071
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Solarzellen - Entwicklung und Charakterisierung; Farbstoff; Organische und Neuartige Solarzellen; Photonenmanagement; upconversion

Upconversion of low-energy photons into high-energy photons increases the efficiency of photovoltaic devices by converting photons with energies below the absorption threshold of the solar cell into photons that can be utilized. In this review, an overview is provided of quantitative studies of the upconversion quantum yield of upconverter materials, and of the achieved efficiency enhancements in upconverting solar cell devices. Different materials and devices are compared based on well-defined figures-of-merit and the challenges to their accurate measurement are discussed. Internal upconversion quantum yields above 13% have been reported both for Er3+-based materials as well as for organic upconverters, using irradiance values below 0.4 W cm(-2). On the upconverting solar cell device level, relative enhancements of the solar cells' short-circuit currents by up to 0.55% have been achieved. These values document progress by orders of magnitude achieved in the last years. However, they also show that the field of upconversion needs further development to become a relevant technology option in photovoltaics. Different options regarding how upconversion performance can be increased further in the future are outlined.