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S6: Materials for Spectral Energy Conversion

Spectral conversion luminescent materials are potential candidates to increase the efficiency of solar cells, as well as other environmentally relevant technologies, such as photocatalysis, solar fuels, and artificial photosynthesis, where usually large parts of the solar spectrum do not contribute to the harvesting scheme. Even the most efficient single junction solar cells present energy losses of ~30% due to thermalization of high-energy photons and ~20% due to transparency of sub-bandgap photons. Downconversion or quantum cutting, luminescent downshifting, and upconversion are alternatives to diminish these losses. Remaining challenges (such as low quantum efficiency in nanomaterials, weak and/or narrow absorption, and broadband illumination under real sun conditions) have to be addressed in order to take full advantage of spectral conversion materials. In this context, the rational design of suitable optical materials is crucial for energy conversion enhancement, and approaches reach from novel host materials and dopant optimization for upconversion and downconversion materials to innovative hybrid materials, e.g. combing lanthanide-doped materials, QDs, organic dyes, carbon-based structures and photonic concepts.


This symposium provides a platform for the presentation and discussion of recent achievements, developments and remaining challenges regarding the design, synthesis, and characterization of spectral conversion materials, as well as their assembly to more efficient devices. It is the particular aim to foster the exchange between experts from different fields, such as materials design and chemical materials synthesis (e.g., nanostructures, QDs), synthesis of optical micro- and macromaterials, spectral characterization, and device development in order to communicate knowledge and demands between the different communities. Interdisciplinary approaches and multifunctional materials, experts in synthesis, and characterization of spectral conversion materials from related research areas (such as bioprobe, phosphor, or laser design) are greatly welcome. Topics will focus on, but not be limited to, spectral conversion materials with emphasis on materials design and synthesis, characterization and optimization, assembly of hybrid structures, clarification of mechanisms, device fabrication, and applications in energy (and beyond) technologies.



Session topics


  • Materials for upconversion, downconversion/quantum cutting and luminescent downshifting
  • Lanthanides, dyes and quantum confined nanomaterials (quantum dots, wires, plates, etc.) for photovoltaic applications
  • Spectral conversion for photocatalytic and water-splitting applications
  • Triplet–triplet annihilation photon-upconversion
  • Development of novel optical materials: From nano to macro — achievements and challenges in the design and synthesis of innovative nano-, micro- and macrostructures including lanthanide-doped materials, QDs, carbon-based materials etc.
  • Smart assemblies: combining lanthanide-doped nanoparticles, QDs, carbon-based nanostructures, dyes etc. to enhance spectral conversion efficiency.
  • Novel device design: towards module-scale solar-chemical energy harvesting by implementing e. g., 3D-printed solar concentrators, external light traps, etc.
  • Plasmonic/photonic manipulation of conversion processes
  • Novel sustainable and green synthesis approaches for energy conversion materials
  • Deeper understanding and prediction of more efficient energy converters: Theoretical approaches and modeling
  • Application-oriented approaches in spectral conversion
  • Multifunctional spectral conversion materials: applications beyond the energy sector (e.g., novel phosphor materials, bioprobes, etc.)



Eva Hemmer, University of Ottawa, Canada, ehemmer@uottawa.ca

Timur Sh. Atabaev, Seoul National University, Korea, atabaev@snu.ac.kr

Stefan Fischer, University of California Berkeley, USA, sfischer@lbl.gov

Jose Marques Hueso, Hariot Watt-University, UK, J.Marques@hw.ac.uk

Jorge Méndez Ramos, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain, jmendezr@ull.es

Marta Quintanilla Morales, CICbiomagune, Spain, mquintanilla@cicbiomagune.es

Kang Taek Lee, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Korea, kangtlee@gist.ac.kr

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