The researchers demonstrated that the resultant LSC devices had light harvesting efficiencies of about 10 percent, with virtually no losses to reabsorption for slabs measuring tens of centimeters. And simulations showed that practical dimensions of these devices can be extended to over a meter.
Cadmium-selenium (CdSe) quantum dots absorb photons, then re-emit the energy at a different wavelength from their cadmium-sulfur (CdS) inner cores when embedded in a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) window pane that directs the concentrated solar energy to phovoltaic cells at the window's edge.
The Los Alamos Nation Lab researchers created the thick shell CdSe/CdS quantum dots, while their Italian partners embedded them into the large slabs of PMMA. Details can be found in the Nature Photonics paper titled "Large-area luminescent solar concentrators based on Stokes-shift-engineered nanocrystals in a mass-polymerized PMMA matrix."
Funding was provided by the US Department of Energy's Office of Science through the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP), an Energy Frontier Research Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The work at UNIMIB was funded by Fondazione Cariplo and the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme.
— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times