Transparency matters: new collaborative article in Angewandte Chemie

In our transition towards a more carbon neutral environment, the development of aesthetically acceptable building materials capable of passively collecting solar energy is highly desirable. One strategy to achieve this goal is the harvesting of light from transparent surfaces, such as windows, by incorporation of highly efficient luminophores with absorption bands in the UV or IR region of the solar spectrum. Such light harvesting devices are known as luminescent solar concentrators. The principle of device operation involves the absorption of light by the luminophore whose emitted light is trapped in the waveguiding matrix and concentrated to the edges of the device. The concentrated light can then be efficiently converted to electric current by high-performance solar cells.

As part of our ongoing collaborations with experimental colleagues from The University of Melbourne, our highly accurate wave-function calculations helped to identify unusually fluorescent pyridinium enolates as ideal light harvesting chromophores for use in fully transparent luminescent solar concentrators. Full details of this collaborative research can be found in (Xu, J.; Zhang, B.; Jansen, M.; Goerigk, L.; Wong, W. W. H.; Ritchie, C.*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.., 201710.1002/anie.201704832).