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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Patrick, David L.
Gilbertson, John D.
Rider, David A. (Materials scientist)
Solar power is likely to play a significant role in the future of fossil fuel alternatives. In order to maximize its impact, the cost of solar power must be competitive with fossil fuels on the global energy market. Luminescent Solar Concentrators are an attractive technology that can potentially reduce the cost of solar power. LSCs utilize cheap materials and no moving parts to concentrate light, however the amount of solar concentration is limited by loss mechanisms inherent in LSCs. One potential method to improve the efficiency of LSCs is through the use of oriented fluorophores. Based on theory presented in this thesis, homeotropically oriented fluorophores preferentially emit light within the plane of the LSC, which increases the probability of total internally reflection. D8 and Lumogen Orange oriented fluorophore LSCs were fabricated using reactive mesogens and liquid crystals to achieve homeotropic orientation. The orientation of these devices was measured using UV-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. The number of photons emitted from the edge of the LSC compared to the number of photons absorbed by the LSC, or optical quantum efficiency (OQE) was determined by measuring emission intensity at varying excitation distances from the detector. The OQE was then fit to a theoretical model and the light trapping efficiency of each LSC was determined. It was found that D8 homeotropic LSCs have ~100% higher OQE than isotropic LSCs and approximately 12%-17% higher light trapping efficiencies within the excitation distances tested.
Western Washington University
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Butler, Tristan, "Performance of oriented fluorophore luminescent solar concentrators" (2012). WWU Graduate School Collection. 251.