Solar Energy Discovery Could Yield 35% Efficiency Boost

Dec. 2, 2010
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (UCB), have reported the first designed molecular system that produces two triplet states from an excited singlet state of a molecule, with essentially perfect efficiency - which could lead to a 35%  increase in light-harvesting yield in cells for photovoltaics and solar fuels.

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (UCB), have reported the first designed molecular system that produces two triplet states from an excited singlet state of a molecule, with essentially perfect efficiency - which could lead to a 35%  increase in light-harvesting yield in cells for photovoltaics and solar fuels.

The experiment, utilize a process called singlet fission, and revealed a 200% quantum yield for the creation of two triplets of the molecule 1,3-diphenylisobenzofuran (DPIBF) at low temperatures.

The researchers have identified DPIBF as a promising solution while searching for molecular chromophores that have the required ratio of singlet and triplet energy states.

New developments in solar energy technology could change the way energy is utilized in facilities and buildings.

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