This technology improves broadband light absorption in solar cells.
For optimal performance, solar cells should have high rates of light harvesting and good carrier collection efficiency. However, thicker light absorbing layers are required to improve light harvesting, particularly at longer wavelengths, but thicker layers also reduce carrier collection efficiency. As a result, the solar cell usually does not effectively utilize longer wavelengths of light. This technology uses localized surface plasmons in dye-sensitized solar cells to improve light gathering at longer wavelengths and increase the overall solar cell performance.
This technology mixes multiple-core-shell oxide-metal-oxide plasmonic nanoparticles with the photoactive material to form the photoactive layer. The nanoparticles are tuned to produce localized surface plasmons that resonate in the wavelengths that the photoactive material does not absorb well. This resonance amplifies the intensity of those wavelengths for the surrounding photoactive molecules, allowing better absorption without increasing the thickness of the photoactive layer. This allows the solar cell to utilize a larger portion of the solar spectrum and improves the overall performance. The nanoparticles used in this technology can easily be tuned for a wide range of photoactive materials and are stable enough for high-temperature fabrication.
- Increases light absorption in solar cells, especially for longer wavelength light
- Compatible with commercially available photoactive materials
- Does not require engineering new photoactive materials