18 May 2010 Frequency converter layers based on terbium and ytterbium activated HfO2 glass-ceramics
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One of the ways in which the cell efficiency of solar cells may be improved by better exploitation of the solar spectrum makes use of the down-conversion mechanism, where one high energy photon is cut into two low energy photons. When energy transfer between rare earth ions is used to activate this process, high emission and absorption cross sections as well as low cutoff phonon energy are mandatory. Glass-ceramics can be a viable system to fulfill these requirements. The main advantage of the glass-ceramic is to combine the mechanical and optical properties of the glass with a crystallike environment for the rare-earth ions, where higher cross-sections of the rare earth ion can be exploited. In the case of silica-hafnia system the glass ceramic is constituted by nanocrystals of HfO2, containing the rare earth ion, imbedded in the silica-hafnia host. Hafnia nanocrystals are characterized by a cutoff frequency of about 700 cm-1, so that nonradiative transition rates are strongly reduced, thus increasing the luminescent quantum yield of the rare-earth ions. In this work we investigated the Tb3+/Yb3+ energy transfer efficiency in a 70SiO2-30HfO2 glass-ceramic waveguide in order to convert absorbed photons at 488 nm in photons at 980 nm. The energy transfer efficiency was estimated as a function of the Tb3+/Yb3+ molar ratio as well as of the total amount of rare earth ions. A transfer efficiency of 38% was obtained for Tb3+/Yb3+ = 0.25 mol and a rare earth content [Tb+Yb]/[Si+Hf] = 5% mol.
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G. Alombert Goget, G. Alombert Goget, C. Armellini, C. Armellini, A. Chiappini, A. Chiappini, A. Chiasera, A. Chiasera, M. Ferrari, M. Ferrari, S. Berneschi, S. Berneschi, M. Brenci, M. Brenci, S. Pelli, S. Pelli, G. C. Righini, G. C. Righini, M. Bregoli, M. Bregoli, A. Maglione, A. Maglione, G. Pucker, G. Pucker, G. Speranza, G. Speranza, "Frequency converter layers based on terbium and ytterbium activated HfO2 glass-ceramics", Proc. SPIE 7725, Photonics for Solar Energy Systems III, 77250W (18 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.855025; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.855025

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