The conversion efficiency of such devices can be enhanced by adding upconverters, which combine below-bandgap photons to emit above-bandgap photons that can then be absorbed by the cell. An optimized upconverter could significantly boost the efficiency of next-generation molecular and polymeric solar cells, potentially nearing the Shockley-Queisser limit. The Stanford researchers will develop an efficient, inexpensive upconverting material and add that to dye-sensitized solar cells to prove their concept. They expect that the technology could be applied to other kinds of photovoltaic cells as well.
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