Energy

Engineering of Ultrafast High Efficiency Light-Harvesters

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

Abstract

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.

Content

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Supplementary material

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Figures Supplements
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Figures