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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Gilbertson, John D.
Patrick, David L.
Vyvyan, James R.
Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) collect and concentrate sunlight for use in solar power generation. First proposed over 30 years ago, LSCs are simple devices consisting of a planar waveguide coated or impregnated with a fluorophore. Sunlight absorbed by the fluorophore, reemitted into the waveguide, and concentrated at the edges of the collector. The most substantial problem with previous iterations of LSC technology is that they suffer from escape cone losses (photons lost through the top and bottom of the waveguide) that limited their size and efficiency. In this study, the reduction in escape cone losses was studied through alignment of the embedded fluorophores. By orienting the embedded dyes homeotropically such that its transition moment (absorption dipole) was perpendicular to the plane of the waveguide, photon emission was directed primarily parallel to the plane, thus trapping the photon via a process called total internal reflection (TIR). Beginning with a perylene bisimide (PBI) core used in the industry standard Lumogen© series of dyes, the alignment and solubility of the dye was increased 3-fold in the liquid crystal matrix 4-cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl (5CB) compared to Lumogen F Orange 240 (LumO). This was accomplished by attaching different primary amines and substituted anilines at the imide nitrogens resulting in an increase in aspect ratio and varying degrees of steric hinderance around the PBI core.
Solar concentrators--Efficiency, Luminescence, Solar energy--Research
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.
Benjamin, Willie E., "Synthesis of alignable fluorophores for use in luminescent solar concentrators" (2013). WWU Graduate School Collection. 265.