Micro-Optical Tandem Luminescent Solar Concentrator

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Pasadena, California
Project Term:
02/11/2016 - 08/10/2019

Technology Description:

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and their partners will design and fabricate a new CPV module with features that can capture both direct and diffuse sunlight. The team’s approach uses a luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) sheet that includes quantum dots to capture and re-emit sunlight, micro-PV cells matched to the color of the light from the quantum dots, and a coating of advanced materials that enhance concentration and delivery of sunlight to the micro-PV cells. In addition, the light not captured by the quantum dots will impinge on a tandem solar cell beneath the LSC sheet. The design of the LSC will focus on lowering the number of expensive micro-PV cells needed within the concentrator sheet, which will reduce system costs, but still maintain high efficiency. The design will also allow the module to be effective without any tracking system, making it potentially attractive for all PV markets, including space-constrained rooftops.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Caltech’s innovations may lower the cost of solar systems by enabling economical, high-volume manufacturing of micro-CPV arrays as well as efficient, cost-effective LSCs. Improved systems could encourage greater adoption of solar power in all three primary markets – residential, commercial, and utility.


Expanded use of clean, renewable solar power could reduce dependence on foreign sources of energy.


Solar power offers clean power generation with zero emissions. Technologies developed under MOSAIC may also enable solar installations with smaller physical footprints, reducing the environmental impacts of large solar arrays.


Technologies developed under MOSAIC could offer a cost-effective option for clean, locally produced power across all market sectors.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. James Zahler
Project Contact:
Dr. Harry Atwater
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

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