Rare earths and metal nanoparticles in silicate glass-ceramics to enhance the efficiency of photovoltaic solar cells.

Bouajaj A., Oulmaati L., Belmokhtar S., Armellini C., Chiappini A., Zur L., Ferrari M.

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The efficiency of solar cells may be improved by inserting in the front or rear of the solar cell an optically active layer doped with rare earth ions which acts as down-converter (DC) or up-converter (UC). In this contribution we will give a short review regarding the research already developed by the team in the field of down-conversion process and rare-earth sensitizing. We will focus the attention on the cooperative energy transfer between $Tb^{3+}$ and $Yb^{3+}$ ions in a $70SiO_{2}$ - $30HfO_{2}$ glass-ceramic waveguide and show how silver nanoparticles can enhance the absorption efficiency of rare earths.

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