The Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC) was invented in the late 1970’s with primary objective to reduce the area of the very expensive at that time photovoltaic (PV) cells during solar energy conversion to electricity. A LSC consists of a highly transmissive polymeric or glassy waveguide doped with luminescent material(s). A fraction of the incident irradiation is absorbed by the luminescent species, and consequently re-emitted to all directions. A fraction of this emission is then trapped within the waveguide by means of total internal reflection (TIR) and guided to its edge(s) where solar cell(s) can be attached and generate electricity.
Figure 1: A schematic depicting the basic principles of a LSC.
In this project, the LSC principles will be applied in order to investigate the feasibility of pumping a laser using sunlight rather than generating electricity. Materials that result in narrow-band emission will be employed so that the concentrated solar irradiation can pump the lasing medium optically coupled to the LSC edges. To increase the optical efficiency of the LSC and reach the necessary power threshold for lasing, advanced light-trapping techniques will also be employed. Prototype LSCs will be fabricated and characterized in order to exhibit the feasibility of a solar pumped laser using a LSC.
Starting date: As soon as possible
Contract duration: 6 months
We are looking for a candidate with a strong affinity for conceptual and experimental work. Prior experience (or good motivation to obtain it) with thin-film coating techniques, optical spectroscopy apparatus and methods will be advantageous. Good command of English language is necessary.