Current smart window technologies offer dynamic control of the optical transmission of the visible and near-infrared portions of the solar spectrum to reduce lighting, heating and cooling needs in buildings and to improve occupant comfort. Solar cells harvesting near-ultraviolet photons could satisfy the unmet need of powering such smart windows over the same spatial footprint without competing for visible or infrared photons, and without the same aesthetic and design constraints. Here, we report organic single-junction solar cells that selectively harvest near-ultraviolet photons, produce open-circuit voltages eclipsing 1.6 V and exhibit scalability in power generation, with active layers (10 cm2) substantially larger than those typical of demonstration organic solar cells (0.04–0.2 cm2). Integration of these solar cells with a low-cost, polymer-based electrochromic window enables intelligent management of the solar spectrum, with near-ultraviolet photons powering the regulation of visible and near-infrared photons for natural lighting and heating purposes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology