Engineering of Ultrafast High Efficiency Light-Harvesters

Peter Walla IPTC, Department of BPC, TU Braunschweig, Gaussstrasse 17, 38106 Braunschweig


Nature provides evidence that there is no fundamental limit for harvesting and funneling nearly all scattered sun-photons onto smaller conversion centers by ultra-fast emergy transfer processes. Recently, a proof-of-principle study showed that this can also be achieved by artificial systems containing light-harvesting pools of randomly oriented molecules that funnel energy to individual, aligned light-redirecting molecules.
However, capturing the entire solar spectrum requires engineering of complex multi-element structures considering macroscopic refraction and wave guiding of different spectral ranges of multijunction photovoltaics as well as ultrafast, nanoscopic light-harvesting, energy transfer and funneling, anisotropic absorption and emission and the spectra of a multitude of pigments of different orientations and concentrations. So far, no tool excited that allowed model such structures in one system.
Here we present a ray tracing tool allowing to model and analyze such multi-scale structures, including molecular, ultrafast energy transfer and funneling as well as anisotropic absorption and emission as well as micro-and macroscopic waveguiding and raytracing in one tool. We present first results of solar concentrator architectures with the highest theoretical energy conversion efficiency reported so far.
A novel tool is provided that allows to construct, model and analyze any desired complex ultrafast light-harvesting/photovoltaic architecture with the highest efficiencies by considering molecular, nanometric energy transfer and funneling as well as microscopic waveguiding and raytracing.


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Supplementary material

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Figures Supplements
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