Bilayer Luminescent Solar Concentrators with Enhanced Absorption and Efficiency for Agrivoltaic Applications

John Keil, Yaling Liu, Uwe Kortshagen, Vivian E. Ferry

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17 Scopus citations


Luminescent solar concentrators are a promising route to environmentally integrated photovoltaics, acting as multifunctional systems that simultaneously generate electricity and transmit sunlight. For agrivoltaic applications, the ability to tune the transmission spectrum of the LSC to optimize crop growth while generating electricity is essential. Here we study a bilayer luminescent solar concentrator composed of a film of Si nanocrystals embedded in poly(methyl methacrylate) and a film of CdSe/CdS nanocrystals embedded in poly(cyclohexylethylene) for potential application in agrivoltaics. Position-dependent photoluminescence measurements demonstrate exceptionally high waveguide efficiency for the Si NC layer, and the films have relatively low diffuse transmission and reflection, indicating low levels of scattering. Using Monte Carlo ray-tracing simulations and experimental characterization, we show that the CdSe/CdS NC layer primarily increases the absorption efficiency of the Si NC-based LSC through a combination of direct absorption enhancement and sensitization. This bilayer system offers significant transmission spectrum tunability across the absorption bands of chlorophyll, which may be useful for agrivoltaic studies of different crop species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14102-14110
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 27 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Marc Hillmyer and Colin Peterson for the PCHE materials. This work was supported partially by the National Science Foundation under Award 1553234 and the MRSEC program under Award DMR-1420013. The authors also acknowledge partial support from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (M.L. 2018, Chp. 214, Art. 4, Sec. 02, Subd. 07a). Part of this work was performed in the College of Science and Engineering Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which has received capital funding from the NSF through the MRSEC (Award DMR-2011401) and the NNCI (Award ECCS-2025124) programs.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.


  • agrivoltaics
  • greenhouse
  • luminescent solar concentrator
  • nanocomposite
  • nanocrystals
  • photoluminescence
  • photovoltaics
  • quantum dots

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