Design Criteria for Micro-Optical Tandem Luminescent Solar Concentrators

David R. Needell, Ognjen Ilic, Colton R. Bukowsky, Zach Nett, Lu Xu, Junwen He, Haley Bauser, Benjamin G. Lee, John F. Geisz, Ralph G. Nuzzo, A. Paul Alivisatos, Harry A. Atwater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus Citations


Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) harness light generated by luminophores embedded in a light-trapping waveguide to concentrate onto smaller cells. LSCs can absorb both direct and diffuse sunlight, and thus can operate as flat plate receivers at a fixed tilt and with a conventional module form factor. However, current LSCs experience significant power loss through parasitic luminophore absorption and incomplete light trapping by the optical waveguide. Here, we introduce a tandem LSC device architecture that overcomes both of these limitations, consisting of a poly(lauryl methacrylate) polymer layer with embedded cadmium selenide core, cadmium sulfide shell (CdSe/CdS) quantum dot (QD) luminophores and an InGaP microcell array, which serves as high bandgap absorbers on the top of a conventional Si photovoltaic. We investigate the design space for a tandem LSC, using experimentally measured performance parameters for key components, including the InGaP microcell array, CdSe/CdS QDs, and spectrally selective waveguide filters. Using a Monte Carlo ray-tracing model, we compute the power conversion efficiency for a tandem LSC module with these components to be 29.4% under partially diffuse illumination conditions. These results indicate that a tandem LSC-on-Si architecture could significantly improve upon the efficiency of a conventional Si photovoltaic cell.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8432067
Pages (from-to)1560-1567
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-72497


  • III-V concentrator photovoltaics (PV)
  • luminescent devices
  • Monte Carlo methods
  • quantum dots (QDs)
  • tandem PV


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