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On the 21st and 22nd of February 2013, a "Workshop on advanced systems for photon management for photovoltaics", with a special focus on upconversion was held in Freiburg at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. The workshop was initiated from the consortium of the „Nanospec - Nanomaterials for harvesting sub-band-gap photons via upconversion to increase solar cell efficiencies” FP7 project, but went well beyond the scope of this project and was intended to bring together researchers from different relevant fields and representatives from industry.



About the workshop

This workshop brought together the different fields contributing to the field of photon management, necessary to develop an adavanced upconverting system that significantly enhances solar cell efficiencies. The workshop brought together researchers from university and research institutions with representatives from industry. The workshop covered both current achievements, and future perspectives and strategies of upconversion. Moreover, this workshop provided a platform for discussions and gave room to build strategic collaborations and plans for further activities.

Scientific background

Silicon solar cells loose about 20% of the energy incident from the sun due to the transmission of photons with energies below the band-gap of silicon. Upconverting materials generate one higher energy photon out of at least two lower energy photons. These materials offer the possibility to make the lower energy photons useful as well, and to increase solar cell efficiencies beyond conventional limits.

For a successful application of upconversion into photovoltaics, high upconversion efficiencies need to be achieved and the upconverting materials need to be integrated into photovoltaic devices. This requires the use of novel concepts, such as photonic structures, the use of additional luminescent materials to enlarge the used spectral range, optimized materials and adapted solar cell technologies, backed by a thorough theoretical understanding of the underlying principles.

download: workshop program

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The Nanospec Project is funded by the European Community's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. [246200].

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