UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


Our researchers unveil the hidden potential of Luminescent Solar Concentrators

7 January 2021

Prof Ioannis Papakonstantinou and Dr Mark Portnoi have published a review which highlights the many benefits of Luminescent Solar Concentrators to help solve complex problems in a huge variety of areas such as chemical reactors, horticulture, and optical communication.

LSC being tested on campus

The Hidden Potential of Luminescent Solar Concentrators

The luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) was originally introduced almost four decades ago as a potential alternative/complement to silicon solar cells. It has since evolved to a versatile photovoltaic (PV) solution with realistic potential to improve many day-to-day functioning systems. Yet, a popular perception of the device still persists: the LSC is mostly seen as just a low efficiency solar panel.

Professor Ioannis Papakonstantinou and Dr Mark Portnoi from the Photonic Innovations lab of the UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department co-authored an invited review with Michael G. Debije from the Eindhoven University of Technology in Advanced Energy Materials about the potential uses of LSCs, challenging these outdated ideas. The research shows that LSCs can be used to great effect in sensors, “smart” windows, chemical reactors, horticulture, and even in optical communication and real-time responsive systems, and with greater interdisciplinary research, the development of novel LSC inspired technology would provide great benefits in a number of areas such as medical imaging and horticulture.

Prof Ioannis Papakonstantinou and Dr Mark Portnoi say:  LSCs are emerging as a versatile, and easily customisable way to manipulate the properties of light. Our review highlights how this simple technology has been used to contribute solutions to complex problems. The field is attracting attention from a range of scientific communities and industries. As such we expect it to continue its exceptional recent growth.

You can read the review in Advanced Energy Materials