About the implementation of frequency conversion processes in solar cell device simulations

Alexander Quandt, Tahir Aslan, Itumeleng Mokgosi, Robert Warmbier, Maurizio Ferrari, Giancarlo Righini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Solar cells are electrical devices that can directly convert sunlight into electricity. While solar cells are a mature technology, their efficiencies are still far below the theoretical limit. The major losses in a typical semiconductor solar cell are due to the thermalization of electrons in the UV and visible range of the solar spectrum, the inability of a solar cell to absorb photons with energies below the electronic band gap, and losses due to the recombination of electrons and holes, which mainly occur at the contacts. These prevent the realization of the theoretical efficiency limit of 85% for a generic photovoltaic device. A promising strategy to harness light with minimum thermal losses outside the typical frequency range of a single junction solar cell could be frequency conversion using rare earth ions, as suggested by Trupke. In this work, we discuss the modelling of generic frequency conversion processes in the context of solar cell device simulations, which can be used to supplement experimental studies. In the spirit of a proof-of-concept study, we limit the discussion to up-conversion and restrict ourselves to a simple rare earth model system, together with a basic diode model for a crystalline silicon solar cell. The results of this show that these simulations are very useful for the development of new types of highly efficient solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number435
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Device simulations
  • Frequency conversion
  • Photovoltaics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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