Mathematical Modeling of the Optical response of photovoltaic cells
H. Morales1 and D. Quesada2
1 Miami Dade College, North Campus, Miami FL 33167
2 School of Science, Technology, and Engineering Management, St. Thomas University, Miami Gardens, FL
With the perpetual depletion of fossil fuels, the rising of global temperatures as a result of CO2 emissions, and the desire to have an independent source of renewable energy, photovoltaic cell (PVC) research has been on the rise. One of the main obstacles for the PVC industry is the efficiency of conversion of the systems currently in use. Traditional PVC employed single-band-gap semiconducting materials that used a very specific portion of the solar spectrum. The last fact explains the low conversion efficiency of such PV cells. Materials science and nanotechnology brought into the table multilayered tandem PV cells with different band-gaps per layer. This way, a wider portion of the solar spectrum has been utilized. Record efficiencies nowadays are around 40 % but only under laboratory conditions, whereas most commercial PVC is around 25 %. Quantum Dots (QD) represents another group of potential enhancers of conversion efficiencies. They might be prepared with different sizes and therefore multiple band-gaps might be obtained. Additionally, their nanostructured nature would permit to take advantage of Plasmonic effects operating at these scales. In this presentation the optical response of quantum dots (QD) composites is explored as a viable and potential new technology. Different configurations of dispersed QD within the host matrix are presented and compared with experimental realizations. The limitations of this approach are analyzed and future directions are envisioned.