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Keywords:

  • luminescent down-shifting;
  • solar cell;
  • europium (III)

ABSTRACT

One way to improve the spectral response of solar cells in the ultraviolet (UV) region is to convert high energy photons into lower energy ones via luminescent down-shifting (LDS) technique. Eu3+ complexes are excellent LDS species because of their high luminescence quantum efficiency and large Stokes-shift. In this paper, we aim to optimize the LDS property of Eu3+ complexes for monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic (PV) modules by chemical modification of the UV absorbing antenna ligands. Our results show that the LDS performances of Eu3+ complexes are strongly dependent on their absorption and emission properties. By carefully modifying the absorption and emission features, the LDS performances of Eu3+ complexes can be significantly improved. The spectroscopic features of the Eu3+ complex with a bispinene-containing bipyridyl ligand match well with the requirement of ideal LDS species for the c-Si PV module. Simple coating of polyvinyl acetate film doped with this complex onto the surface of c-Si PV module leads to increase of the external quantum efficiency in the UV region and enhancement of the PV module efficiency η (from 16.05% to 16.37%). Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.