skip to main content


Title: Enhancing photovoltaic output power by 3-band spectrum-splitting and concentration using a diffractive micro-optic

We report the enhancement of photovoltaic output power by separating the incident spectrum into 3 bands, and concentrating these bands onto 3 different photovoltaic cells. The spectrum-splitting and concentration is achieved via a thin, planar micro-optical element that demonstrates high optical efficiency over the entire spectrum of interest. The optic (which we call a polychromat) was designed using a modified version of the direct-binary-search algorithm. The polychromat was fabricated using grayscale lithography. Rigorous optical characterization demonstrates excellent agreement with simulation results. Electrical characterization of the solar cells made from GaInP, GaAs and Si indicate increase in the peak output power density of 43.63%, 30.84% and 30.86%, respectively when compared to normal operation without the polychromat. This represents an overall increase of 35.52% in output power density. As a result, the potential for cost-effective large-area manufacturing and for high system efficiencies makes our approach a strong candidate for low cost solar power.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1094-4087; OPEXFF
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Optics Express
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: S6; Related Information: Optics Express; Journal ID: ISSN 1094-4087
Optical Society of America (OSA)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; solar energy; diffractive optics; micro-optical devices
OSTI Identifier: