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Multi-functionality of luminescent glasses for energy applications

: Steudel, F.; Loos, S.; Ahrens, B.; Schweizer, S.


Physica scripta 90 (2015), Nr.9, Art. 094004
ISSN: 0031-8949
ISSN: 0281-1847
ISSN: 1402-4896
Fraunhofer IWM ()

Rare-earth-(RE) doped barium borate glasses are investigated for their potential use as photon downshifting cover glasses for CdTe solar cells and as converters for white light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The glasses are doped with trivalent RE ions such as Eu3+ and Tb3+, resulting in an intense luminescence in the red (Eu3+) and green (Tb3+) spectral range upon excitation in the ultraviolet and blue ranges. Doping the glasses with two different RE ions enables broader absorption, which is necessary for both photovoltaic applications and for the appropriate color mixing needed for use in white LEDs. Though the single-doped cover glasses already reveal a slight increase in the short-circuit current density of CdTe solar cells, the double-doped glasses allow for even higher efficiency gains due to the significantly broader spectral range for absorption. For an Eu3+/Tb3+ double-doped glass with an RE doping level of 1 at.% each, an efficiency increase of 1.32% can be achieved. Furthermore, the Eu3+/Tb3+ double-doped glasses enable appropriate color mixing in the green-to-red spectral range by varying the RE doping level accordingly.