Jean-Claude Bunzli - Lanthanides in Solar Energy Conversion

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

      B nzli,J.-C.G., Chauvin,Anne-Sophie 2014  1st (44, Ch. 261) 169-281

      Abstract: Solar energy represents an abundant   (1000 W m-2) and seemingly cheap source of energy. One way to tap   it is to transform light into electricity with photovoltaic   devices. Single junction solar cells presently reach 32%   conversion yield under 1-sun illumination while multijunction   devices irradiated by concentrated light can reach 44%. One major   problem encountered when trying to increase the conversion   efficiency lies in the spectral mismatch between the absorption   spectrum of the semiconductor and the solar emission spectrum. As   a remedy, wavelength-converting materials are being developed and   because solar cells perform best in a relatively narrow spectral   range which depends on their bandgap energy, lanthanide   luminescent divalent and trivalent ions are particularly well   suited for this purpose. In addition non-luminescent ions feature   special crystallographic and conduction properties which make   them invaluable in lattice-matched multijunction devices. In this   chapter, the performances of rare-earth ions in downconverting,   downshifting, and upconverting materials embedded into the   architecture of luminescent solar concentrators, silicon solar   cells, semiconductor photovoltaic devices, and dye-sensitized   solar cells (DSSCs) is comprehensively and critically reviewed.   Other contributions, e.g. as scattering layers and as modifiers   of the bandgap of titanium oxide in DSSCs, or to the powering of   in vivo nanorobots are likewise described. Finally a general   assessment is made and improvements on the order of +5 absolute%   in conversion yield are predicted provided fully optimized   materials can be tailored.

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