Meter length, lightweight and flexible optically active poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) optical fibers will be used as cylindrical luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) with unprecedented concentration factors (F>10). PMMA optical fibers coated (bulk fibers) or filled (hollow-core fibers) with lanthanide ions- or dye-containing organic-inorganic hybrid layers will be fabricated and assembled in bundles. To demonstrate the potential of the proposed approach, two prototypes will be produced by coupling i) long-meter LSC and ii) LSC bundles to commercial Si PV cells. The Si PV cells figure of merit (external quantum efficiency, EQE) will be accessed. The LSCs will display an unprecedented F values one order of magnitude higher than the largest values reported so far. Conventional LSCs are usually made of rigid glass or plastics with limited flexibility, hampering its applicability. The approach proposed here has, therefore, a large potential to be a real breakthrough on the development of lightweight and mechanically flexible high-performance waveguiding photovoltaic.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: