Significant efforts have been applied to realize full spectrum solar energy utilization in different types of photovoltaic (PV) and solar-thermal devices. Single junction solar cells are already near theoretical efficiency limits defined by thermalization losses and sub-bandgap transparency. Multijunction (tandem) solar cells provide pathways to greatly improved efficiencies by spectrally splitting sunlight into sub-cells with different bandgaps.
Conventional multijunction cells, however, require lattice matched or metamorphic epitaxial growth, which constrains options in material selection. To address these challenges and further approach thermodynamic limits in efficiency, innovations in materials design and device architecture are required. Emerging methods for full spectrum energy harvesting include crystal epitaxy, mechanical stacking/bonding, spectral splitting, hybrid solar electric/thermal energy harvesting, etc. A broad range of materials proposed for full spectrum solar cells and devices span from III-V, silicon and germanium, to chacogenides, perovskites, organic and hybrid materials. Novel concepts for light/thermal management, including light trapping, photon recycling, downconversion/upconverstion and quantum dots, may be applied.
This symposium provides a forum to discuss various approaches to realize high-efficiency, low-cost full spectrum solar cells and systems. It will focus on the fundamental materials science, interface properties, device physics, light management and manufacturing methods to achieve multijunction solar cells and systems. The presentations and invited abstracts cover interdisciplinary fields including physics, chemistry, materials science, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.