This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 892131.
Luminescent 'reactors' could enhance energy sustainability of buildings
Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are a promising technology for building integrated photovoltaics. However, optical loss mechanisms such as light scattering are preventing prototype devices from achieving the theoretical energy conversion efficiencies.
The aim of the EU-funded PLECTRA project is to further understand, control and harness light scattering mechanisms to design more efficient LSCs. To achieve its goals, the project will leverage plasmon-enhanced photoluminescence – a phenomenon in which the efficiency of a luminescent species (e.g. quantum dots) is enhanced by plasmon scattering. As proof of principle of the idea, the project will integrate LSCs into an electrochromic glass.
Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) have the potential to facilitate widespread deployment of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) into our cities. However, prototype devices still fail to achieve the theoretical efficiencies due to contributions from optical loss mechanisms, including light scattering. The aim of PLECTRA is to understand, control and harness the contribution of light scattering mechanisms to design efficient LSCs that can be used in BIPV.
The phenomenon of plasmon-enhanced photoluminescence, in which elastic scattering from plasmonic nanoparticles boosts the photoluminescence efficiency of a luminescent species (e.g. quantum dots), will be exploited to harness scattering and improve the LSC performance. To achieve this we will use a layer-by-layer deposition approach to prepare resonator-emitter core-satellite structures, in which the two species are separated by a quantifiable distance.
Single particle scattering and photoluminescence studies, will be used to determine the required separation to obtain plasmon-coupled photoluminescence (rather than quenching). Optimised species will be incorporated into LSCs and sophisticated angle-resolved scattering measurements, in conjugation with numerical simulations, will be used to evaluate the scattering pathways in the device. Finally proof-of-concept integration of the LSCs with PV cells, and subsequently electrochromic glass will be demonstrated as evidence for potential application in BIPV.
THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Start date: 1 June 2021 - End date: 31 May 2023