Advanced material concepts for luminescent solar concentrators

Brenda C. Rowan, Lindsay R. Wilson, Bryce S. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

264 Citations (Scopus)


Sunlight that is incident on the front surface of a luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) is absorbed and subsequently re-emitted by luminescent materials. The resulting luminescence is transported to the edge of the LSC sheet and concentrated onto photovoltaic devices. Despite its potential for generating low-cost solar power, LSC development faces numerous challenges, the majority of which are related to the luminescent materials used in their design. Earlier LSC research focused on organic dyes, and while several of the shortcomings with these materials have been solved over time, some major challenges remain. This paper out-lines the loss mechanisms that limit conversion efficiency of the LSC and highlights the role that advanced materials can play. Losses include nonunity fluorescence quantum yield (FQY), reabsorption losses, incomplete utilization of the solar spectrum, and escape cone losses. Long-term photostability is also discussed as it is essential for commercial feasibility of any solar technology. Past and current techniques, designed to reduce these losses, are described and their experimental achievements are discussed. © 2008 IEEE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4519812
Pages (from-to)1312-1322
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • Fluorescent
  • Luminescent
  • Photovoltaic (PV)
  • Quantum yield
  • Solar concentrator


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