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Broadband Ce(III)-Sensitized Quantum Cutting in Core–Shell Nanoparticles: Mechanistic Investigation and Photovoltaic Application

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journal contribution
posted on 04.10.2017, 00:00 by Tianying Sun, Xian Chen, Limin Jin, Ho-Wa Li, Bing Chen, Bo Fan, Bernard Moine, Xvsheng Qiao, Xianping Fan, Sai-Wing Tsang, Siu Fung Yu, Feng Wang
Quantum cutting in lanthanide-doped luminescent materials is promising for applications such as solar cells, mercury-free lamps, and plasma panel displays because of the ability to emit multiple photons for each absorbed higher-energy photon. Herein, a broadband Ce3+-sensitized quantum cutting process in Nd3+ ions is reported though gadolinium sublattice-mediated energy migration in a NaGdF4:Ce@NaGdF4:Nd@NaYF4 nanostructure. The Nd3+ ions show downconversion of one ultraviolet photon through two successive energy transitions, resulting in one visible photon and one near-infrared (NIR) photon. A class of NaGdF4:Ce@NaGdF4:Nd/Yb@NaYF4 nanoparticles is further developed to expand the spectrum of quantum cutting in the NIR. When the quantum cutting nanoparticles are incorporated into a hybrid crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cell, a 1.2-fold increase in short-circuit current and a 1.4-fold increase in power conversion efficiency is demonstrated under short-wavelength ultraviolet irradiation. These insights should enhance our ability to control and utilize spectral downconversion with lanthanide ions.