Theoretical limits of photovoltaics efficiency and possible improvements by intuitive approaches learned from photosynthesis and quantum coherence

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In this review, we present and discussed the main trends in photovoltaics (PV) with emphasize on the conversion efficiency limits. The theoretical limits of various photovoltaics device concepts are presented and analyzed using a flexible detailed balance model where more discussion emphasize is toward the losses. Also, few lessons from nature and other fields to improve the conversion efficiency in photovoltaics are presented and discussed. From photosynthesis, the perfect exciton transport in photosynthetic complexes can be utilized for PV. Also, we present some lessons learned from other fields like recombination suppression by quantum coherence. For example, the coupling in photosynthetic reaction centers is used to suppress recombination in photocells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1089
Number of pages17
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015



  • Non-conventional solar cell
  • Photosynthesis
  • Quantum coherence
  • Shockley and Queisser limit
  • Solar cell efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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