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Title: Enhanced Silicon Photovoltaic Efficiency by Solar Light Spectral Modulation via Photonically Tuned Porphyrin–Iron Oxide Hybrid Thin Films
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Energy Technology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  2. null (Ed.)
    The photothermal experiments on the incident light angle dependence are carried out using simulated solar light on thin films of both iron oxides (Fe3O4 and Fe3O4@Cu2-xS) and porphyrin compounds (chlorophyll and chlorophyllin). Fe3O4 and Fe3O4@Cu2-xS are synthesized using various solution methods that produce mono-dispersed nanoparticles on the order of 10 nm. Chlorophyll is extracted from fresh spinach and chlorophyllin sodium copper is a commercial product. These photothermal (PT) materials are dispersed in polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) solutions and deposited on glass substrates via spin coating that result in clear and transparent thin films. The iron-oxide based thin films show distinctive absorption spectra; Fe3O4 exhibits a strong peak near UV and gradually decreases into the visible and NIR regions; the absorption of Fe3O4@Cu2-xS is similar in the UV region but shows a broad absorption in the NIR region. Both chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are characterized with absorption peaks near UV and NIR showing a “U”-shaped spectrum, ideally required for efficient solar harvest and high transparency in energy-efficient single-pane window applications. Upon coating of the transparent PT films on the window inner surfaces, solar irradiation induces the photothermal effect, consequently raising the film temperature. In this fashion, the thermal loss through the window can be significantly lowered by reducing the temperature difference between the window inner surface and the room interior, based on a new concept of so-called “optical thermal insulation” (OTI) without any intervention medium, such as air/argon, as required in the glazing technologies. Single-panes are therefore possible to replace double- or triple panes. As OTI is inevitably affected by seasonal and daily sunlight changes, an incident light angle dependence of the photothermal effect is crucial in both thin film and window designs. It is found that the heating curves reach their maxima at small angles of incidence while the photothermal effect is considerably reduced at large angles. This angle dependence is well explained by light reflection by the thin film surface, however, deviated from what is predicted by the Fresnel’s law, attributable to non-ideal surfaces of the substrates. The angle dependence data provides an important reference for OTI that window exposure to sun is greater at winter solstice while that is considerably reduced in the summer. This conclusion indicates much enhanced solar harvesting and heat conversion via optically insulated windows in the winter season, resulting in much lower U-factors. 
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  3. Abstract

    A tradeoff between light absorption and charge transport is a well-known issue in PbS colloidal quantum dot (CQD) solar cells because the carrier diffusion length in PbS CQD films is comparable to the thickness of CQD film. We reduce the tradeoff between light absorption and charge transport by combining a Fabry–Perot (FP) resonator and a distributed Bragg reflector (DBR). A FP resonance is formed between the DBR and a dielectric-metal-dielectric film as a top transparent electrode. A SiO2-TiO2multilayer is used to form a DBR. The FP resonance enhances light absorption near the resonant wavelength of the DBR without changing the CQD film thickness. The light absorption near the FP resonance wavelength is further boosted by coupling the FP resonance with the high reflectivity of the Ag-coated DBR. When the FP resonance and DBR are combined, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of PbS CQD solar cells increases by 54%. Moreover, the DBR assisted FP resonance enables a very thin PbS layer to absorb near infrared light four times more. The overall PCE of the thin PbS CQD solar cell increases by 24% without sacrificing the average visible transmittance (AVT). Our results show how to overcome the inherence problem of the CQD and develop a semi-transparent solar cell where the wavelength-selective absorption and the transparency for visible light are important.

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  5. Abstract

    Extremely high power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of ≈20–22% are realized through intensive research and development of 1.5–1.6 eV bandgap perovskite absorbers. However, development of ideal bandgap (1.3–1.4 eV) absorbers is pivotal to further improve PCE of single junction perovskite solar cells (PVSCs) because of a better balance between absorption loss of sub‐bandgap photons and thermalization loss of above‐bandgap photons as demonstrated by the Shockley–Queisser detailed balanced calculation. Ideal bandgap PVSCs are currently hindered by the poor optoelectronic quality of perovskite absorbers and their PCEs have stagnated at <15%. In this work, through systematic photoluminescence and photovoltaic analysis, a new ideal bandgap (1.35 eV) absorber composition (MAPb0.5Sn0.5(I0.8Br0.2)3) is rationally designed and developed, which possesses lower nonradiative recombination states, band edge disorder, and Urbach energy coupled with a higher absorption coefficient, which yields a reducedVoc,loss(0.45 V) and improved PCE (as high as 17.63%) for the derived PVSCs. This work provides a promising platform for unleashing the complete potential of ideal bandgap PVSCs and prospects for further improvement.

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