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SBIR/STTR

Quantum Dot Spectrum Converters for Enhanced High Efficiency Photovoltaics, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Quantum Dot Spectrum Converters for Enhanced High Efficiency Photovoltaics, Phase I
This research proposes to enhance solar cell efficiency, radiation resistance and affordability. The Quantum Dot Spectrum Converter (QDSC) disperses quantum dots into the transparent silicone layer that normally functions as coverglass adhesive. The Quantum Dots (QD) act as a fluorescent spectrum converter for solar cells, to allow the use of the 20-50% of the solar spectrum unavailable to today's highest efficiency solar cells. By selecting QD's of particular compositions and sizes, we customize absorption and emission spectra to down-convert UV photons, including multiple exciton generation, and up-convert IR photons in a multiple photon process. This approach overcomes the fundamental 'red-loss' and 'blue-loss' limitations, allowing more efficiency from conventional single- and multi-bandgap photovoltaic devices. We also explore the use of a QDSC in a non-tracking fluorescent concentrator for enhancing flux and shielding for solar cells and in thermophotovoltaic systems as a means of enhancing efficiency while eliminating selective emitters. These approaches address the topic need for significantly improved efficiency and radiation hardening for deep space missions ? the QDSC can significantly enhance conversion efficiency of qualified, high-efficiency cells, while its implementation in a luminescent or thermophotovoltaic concentrator allows solar cells to be shielded from adverse radiation and thermal environments. More »

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