Luminescent Solar Concentrators Using Heavy-Metal-Free Colloidal Quantum Dots: Toxic Free; Increased Solar Harvesting = Greater Efficiencies = Lower Costs

QD Solar Concentrator 090115 nnano_2015_178-f4Highly efficient large-area colourless luminescent solar concentrators using heavy-metal-free colloidal quantum dots

Luminescent solar concentrators serving as semitransparent photovoltaic windows could become an important element in net zero energy consumption buildings of the future.

Colloidal quantum dots are promising materials for luminescent solar concentrators as they can be engineered to provide the large Stokes shift necessary for suppressing reabsorption losses in large-area devices.

Existing Stokes-shift-engineered quantum dots allow for only partial coverage of the solar spectrum, which limits their light-harvesting ability and leads to colouring of the luminescent solar concentrators, complicating their use in architecture.

Here, we use quantum dots of ternary I–III–VI2 semiconductors to realize the first large-area quantum dot–luminescent solar concentrators free of toxic elements, with reduced reabsorption and extended coverage of the solar spectrum. QDLED 08_Bulovic_QDs_inLiquidSolutions

By incorporating CuInSexS2–x quantum dots into photo-polymerized poly(lauryl methacrylate), we obtain freestanding, colourless slabs that introduce no distortion to perceived colours and are thus well suited for the realization of photovoltaic windows.

Thanks to the suppressed reabsorption and high emission efficiencies of the quantum dots, we achieve an optical power efficiency of 3.2%. Ultrafast spectroscopy studies suggest that the Stokes-shifted emission involves a conduction-band electron and a hole residing in an intragap state associated with a native defect.

Francesco Meinardi,1, n1

Journal name:
Nature Nanotechnology Year published: (2015)
doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.178   Accepted 16 July 2015
Published online
24 August 2015

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