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Engineering Light: Advances in Wavelength Conversion Materials for Energy and Environmental Technologies

Cates, Ezra L., Chinnapongse, Stephanie L., Kim, Jae-Hyuk, Kim, Jae-Hong
Environmental Science & Technology 2012 v.46 no.22 pp. 12316-12328
energy, engineering, environmental technology, photocatalysis, photoluminescence, photons, photovoltaic cells, wavelengths
Upconversion photoluminescence (UC) occurs in optical materials that are capable of absorbing low energy photons and emitting photons of higher energy and shorter wavelength, while downconversion (DC) materials may absorb one high energy photon and emit two of lower energy for quantum yields exceeding unity. These wavelength conversion processes allow us to transform electromagnetic radiation so it may be more effectively utilized by light-capturing devices and materials. Progress in designing more efficient organic and inorganic photochemical conversion systems has initiated a recent surge in attempts to apply these processes for practical uses, including enhancement of many energy and environmental technologies. In this review, we introduce important concepts in UC and DC materials and discuss the current status and challenges toward the application of wavelength conversion to solar cells, photocatalysis, and antimicrobial surfaces.