“We are developing solar concentrators that will harvest sunlight from building windows and turn it into electricity, using quantum-dot based luminescent solar concentrators,” lead scientist and leader of the Los Alamos Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP) Victor Klimov said.
The Los Alamos paper advances techniques relating to luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) – slabs of transparent glass or plastic into or onto which highly emissive fluorophores are placed in order to create large-area sunlight collectors for photovoltaic cells – examining large LSC windows that were created by using a blade to create a thin, highly uniform film on a surface. The quantum dots used in the Nature Energy study are dual-layered semiconductor spheres that enable control over the two separate layers’ emission spectra.
“The quantum dots used in LSC devices have been specially designed for the optimal performance as LSC fluorophores and to exhibit good compatibility with the polymer material that holds them on the surface of the window,” Klimov said.
The dots and their encapsulation procedures were developed by three postdoctoral scholars, with funding support from the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences program.