Photocell optimization using dark state protection

Amir Fruchtman, Rafael Gómez-Bombarelli, Brendon W. Lovett, Erik M. Gauger

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Conventional photocells suffer a fundamental efficiency threshold imposed by the principle of detailed balance, reflecting the fact that good absorbers must necessarily also be fast emitters. This limitation can be overcome by "parking" the energy of an absorbed photon in a dark state which neither absorbs nor emits light. Here we argue that suitable dark states occur naturally as a consequence of the dipole-dipole interaction between two proximal optical dipoles for a wide range of realistic molecular dimers. We develop an intuitive model of a photocell comprising two light-absorbing molecules coupled to an idealized reaction centre, showing asymmetric dimers are capable of providing a significant enhancement of light-to-current conversion under ambient conditions. We conclude by describing a road map for identifying suitable molecular dimers for demonstrating this effect by screening a very large set of possible candidate molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Article number203603
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Photocell optimization using dark state protection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this