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Lignin Nanoparticles: Promising Sustainable Building Blocks of Photoluminescent and Haze Films for Improving Efficiency of Solar Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 12.07.2021, 19:15 by Xue Wang, Huanxin Guo, Zonghao Lu, Xue Liu, Xiongfei Luo, Shujun Li, Shouxin Liu, Jian Li, Yongzhen Wu, Zhijun Chen
Films with the capacity for photoluminescence and haze, which can convert UV to visible light and enhance light management, are of great importance for optoelectronic devices. Here, taking advantage of the inherent fluorescence and self-assembly properties of lignin, we have developed a sustainable lignin-derived multifunctional dopant (L-MS-NPs) for fabricating optical films with haze, fluorescence, and room-temperature phosphorescence (RTP) together with poly­(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). The optical films are used to improve the light-harvesting efficiency of solar cells. Specifically, attributed to the robust morphology in the film matrix, L-MS-NPs cause a rough morphology in the surface of an L-MS-NPs/PVA composite film, which eventually triggers the great optical haze. Additionally, L-MS-NPs inherit fluorescence properties from lignin and show fluorescence emission when embed in the film matrix. Moreover, the PVA film matrix can stabilize the excited triplet state, which finally induces RTP of L-MS-NPs. The combined haze, fluorescence, and RTP properties of the L-MS-NPs/PVA composite film enhances the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of dye-sensitized solar cells from ∼3.9 to ∼4.1%.