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Plasmon-Enhanced Energy Transfer for Improved Upconversion of Infrared Radiation in Doped-Lanthanide Nanocrystals.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 12-06-2013
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Upconversion of infrared radiation into visible light has been investigated for applications in photovoltaics and biological imaging. However, low conversion efficiency due to small absorption cross-section for infrared light (Yb(3+)), and slow rate of energy transfer (to Er(3+) states) has prevented application of upconversion photoluminescence (UPL) for diffuse sunlight or imaging tissue samples. Here, we utilize resonant surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) waves to enhance UPL in doped-lanthanide nanocrystals. Our analysis indicates that SPP waves not only enhance the electromagnetic field, and hence weak Purcell effect, but also increase the rate of resonant energy transfer from Yb(3+) to Er(3+) ions by 6 fold. While we do observe strong metal mediated quenching (14-fold) of green fluorescence on flat metal surfaces, the nanostructured metal is resonant in the infrared and hence enhances the nanocrystal UPL. This strong Coulombic effect on energy transfer can have important implications for other fluorescent and excitonic systems too.
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Authors: Andrew Nattestad, Yuen Yap Cheng, Rowan W. MacQueen, Gordon G. Wallace, Timothy W. Schmidt.
Published: 09-12-2014
ABSTRACT

The poor response of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) to red and infrared light is a significant impediment to the realization of higher photocurrents and hence higher efficiencies. Photon up-conversion by way of triplet-triplet annihilation (TTA-UC) is an attractive technique for using these otherwise wasted low energy photons to produce photocurrent, while not interfering with the photoanodic performance in a deleterious manner. Further to this, TTA-UC has a number of features, distinct from other reported photon up-conversion technologies, which renders it particularly suitable for coupling with DSC technology. In this work, a proven high performance TTA-UC system, comprising a palladium porphyrin sensitizer and rubrene emitter, is combined with a high performance DSC (utilizing the organic dye D149) in an integrated device. The device shows an enhanced response to sub-bandgap light over the absorption range of the TTA-UC sub-unit resulting in the highest figure of merit for up-conversion assisted DSC performance to date.

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Integrating a Triplet-triplet Annihilation Up-conversion System to Enhance Dye-sensitized Solar Cell Response to Sub-bandgap Light
Authors: Andrew Nattestad, Yuen Yap Cheng, Rowan W. MacQueen, Gordon G. Wallace, Timothy W. Schmidt.
Institutions: The University of Wollongong, The University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales.

An integrated device, incorporating a dye-sensitized solar cell and triplet-triplet annihilation up-conversion unit was produced, affording enhanced light harvesting, from a wider section of the solar spectrum. Under modest irradiation levels a significantly enhanced response to low energy photons was demonstrated, yielding a record figure of merit for dye-sensitized solar cells.

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