Experimental Demonstration of Photon Upconversion via Cooperative Energy Pooling: Article No. 14808

Sean Shaheen, Daniel Weingarten, Jao Van De Lagemaat, Garry Rumbles, Michael LaCount, Mark Lusk

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34 Scopus Citations


Photon upconversion is a fundamental interaction of light and matter that has applications in fields ranging from bioimaging to microfabrication. However, all photon upconversion methods demonstrated thus far involve challenging aspects, including requirements of high excitation intensities, degradation in ambient air, requirements of exotic materials or phases, or involvement of inherent energy loss processes. Here we experimentally demonstrate a mechanism of photon upconversion in a thin film, binary mixture of organic chromophores that provides a pathway to overcoming the aforementioned disadvantages. This singlet-based process, called Cooperative Energy Pooling (CEP), utilizes a sensitizer-acceptor design in which multiple photoexcited sensitizers resonantly and simultaneously transfer their energies to a higher-energy state on a single acceptor. Data from this proof-of-concept implementation is fit by a proposed model of the CEP process. Design guidelines are presented to facilitate further research and development of more optimized CEP systems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-67676


  • CEP
  • chromophores
  • Cooperative Energy Pooling
  • photon upconversion
  • solar-photochemistry


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