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Outdoor measurements of a photovoltaic system using diffractive spectrum-splitting and concentration
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In a single-bandgap absorber, photons having energy less than the bandgap are not absorbed, while those having energy larger than the bandgap lose the excess energy via thermalization. We present outdoor measurements of a photovoltaic system that overcomes these losses via spectrum splitting and concentration using a planar diffractive optic. The system was comprised of the diffractive optic coupled with GaInP and CIGS solar cells. The optic provides a geometric concentration of 3X for each solar cell. It is easily fabricated by single-step grayscale lithography and it is ultra-thin with a maximum thickness of only m. Electrical measurements under direct sunlight demonstrated an increase of in total output power compared to the reference case without spectrum splitting and concentration. Since different bandgaps are in the same plane, the proposed photovoltaic system successfully circumvents the lattice-matching and current-matching issues in conventional tandem multi-junction solar cells. This system is also tolerant to solar spectrum variation and fill-factor degradation of constitutive solar cells.
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