RUI: Application of Plasmonic-Metal Nanoparticles to Increase the Efficiency and Photostability of Luminescent Solar Concentrators

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Title: RUI: Application of Plasmonic-Metal Nanoparticles to Increase the Efficiency and Photostability of Luminescent Solar Concentrators

Principal Investigator: Wittmershaus, Bruce P. , Pennsylvania State Univ. University Park

Research Objectives and Approaches: The objective of this research is to design and fabricate highly efficient and photostable luminescent solar concentrators with usable lifetimes of at least 10 years. The approach is to use metal nanoparticles to cause metal-enhanced fluorescence from organic dyes thereby increasing fluorescence yield and photostability. Different shapes and sizes of nanoparticles will be tested in single and multiple-dye luminescent concentrators.

Intellectual Merit: Photodegradation is a major and often overlooked problem of luminescent concentrators preventing their commercialization. Metal-enhanced fluorescence is a unique solution greatly improving photostability by increasing a dye?s radiative rate. It also increases fluorescence yield. Infra-red dyes with poor yield can be made into viable materials for concentrators. This improves concentrator efficiency by extending the range of converted sunlight beyond the visible. Improving both the photostability and yield of fluorescent materials will benefit other important applications such as dye-sensitized solar cells, biological fluorescent labels, and light-emitting diodes.

Broader Impacts: The potential development of affordable solar energy conversion will benefit our society through less reliance on fossil fuels. Necessary training is provided to undergraduates on performing and presenting interdisciplinary research in the critical target areas of nanotechnology and solar energy. Outreach programs for middle and high school students inform the public about our work and get students excited about solar and nanotechnology research. Our research presentations to student organizations and participation in college mentoring programs encourage underrepresented students to consider study in STEM fields by showing that it is accessible to them as undergraduates.

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/17

Funding

  • National Science Foundation: $226,568.00

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