Article

Doctor-blade deposition of quantum dots onto standard window glass for low-loss large-area luminescent solar concentrators

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Abstract

Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are envisioned to reduce the cost of solar electricity by decreasing the usage of more expensive photovoltaic (PV) materials and diminishing the complexity of multi-cell PV modules. The LSC concept can also enable unconventional solar-energy conversion devices such as PV windows that can be especially useful in highly populated urban areas. Here we demonstrate low-loss, large-area (up to about 90 × 30 cm2) LSCs fabricated from colloidal core/shell quantum dots (QDs) whose optical spectra are tailored so as to minimize self-absorption of waveguided radiation. For improved compatibility with a polymer matrix and enhanced stability, QDs are encapsulated into silica shells, which allows for maintaining high emission efficiencies (70% quantum yields) under four-month exposure to air and light, and heat treatments up to 200 C. The QD/polymer composites are processed into devices using standard doctor-blade deposition onto commercial window glasses. The fabricated semi-transparent devices demonstrate internal quantum efficiencies of more than 10% for dimensions of tens of centimetres.

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Author information

Author notes

    • Hongbo Li
    •  & Kaifeng Wu

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics, Chemistry Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA

    • Hongbo Li
    • , Kaifeng Wu
    • , Jaehoon Lim
    • , Hyung-Jun Song
    •  & Victor I. Klimov

Authors

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Contributions

J.L. fabricated and characterized the QD samples. H.L. developed the procedure for QD overcoating with silica and conducted characterization of the resulting QD/silica structures. H.L. and K.W. fabricated devices using a doctor-blade approach. K.W. characterized and analysed their LSC performance. H.-J.S. fabricated and characterized coupled LSC–PV devices. V.I.K. initiated the study, developed the analytical LSC model, and wrote the manuscript with contributions from all co-authors. H.L. and K.W. contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Victor I. Klimov.

Supplementary information

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    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Figures 1–9, Supplementary Tables 1–2, Supplementary Notes 16 and Supplementary References