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Improving spectral modification for applications in solar cells: A review

Day, Joseph; Senthilarasu, S.; Mallick, Tapas K.


Joseph Day

Tapas K. Mallick


The spectral mismatch between solar cells and incident radiation is a fundamental factor limiting their efficiencies. There exist materials and luminescent processes which can modify the incident sunlight’s properties to better suit the cell’s optimal absorption regions. This makes for an interesting area of research and promising technique for enhancing the efficiency of solar cells which is important for environmental reasons. It is intended for this review to provide the reader with historical and up-to-date developments of the application of spectral modification to solar cells and contribute to growing its impact on real-world PV devices. We concisely outline the underlying principles of three spectral modification processes: upconversion (UC), downconversion (DC) and luminescent downshifting (LDS). For each section we present up to date experimental results for applications to a range of solar PV technologies and discuss their drawbacks. With particular focus on UC, we then review how nanostructures or integrated optics might overcome these problems. Finally, we discuss practical challenges associated with advancing this approach for commercialisation and opportunities spectral modification presents; namely where future research should focus and via a cost analysis with a simple formula that can be used to determine financial viability for the deployment of this technology.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 20, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2018
Publication Date 2019-03
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2023
Print ISSN 0960-1481
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 132
Pages 186-205
Keywords Downconversion, Efficiency, Luminescent downshifting, Nanostructures, Solar cells, Upconversion


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