Optical performance of dichroic spectrum-splitting filters

Deming Zhang, Yuechen Wu, Juan M. Russo, Michael Gordon, Shelby Vorndran, Raymond K. Kostuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We investigate the optical performance of dichroic filters used in solar spectrum-splitting applications. Photovoltaic (PV) systems utilizing spectrum splitting have higher theoretical conversion efficiency than single-bandgap PV modules. Dichroic filters have been used in several spectrum-splitting optical system designs with success. However, dichroic filters only achieve ideal performance under collimated incident light. With an incident angle constraint the optical concentration ratio is limited. A high-concentration ratio helps to achieve high-conversion efficiency and control cost by reducing the PV cell area. In a dual-junction spectrumsplitting PV configuration with a gallium arsenide (GaAs) PV cell and a 2.1-eV bandgap PV cell, the experimental dichroic filter can provide 86.3% of the ideal designed performance. The filter nonideal performance under focused incident light is simulated with ZEMAX. System efficiency under different F-number and filter refractive index is simulated for dual-junction and threejunction systems to show the performance of dichroic filters. We have found that for a dual-bandgap spectrum-splitting system there is a 0.32% system efficiency gain associated with a filter refractive index increased from 1.5 to 1.95. An efficiency gain of 0.41% is associated with an aperture size reduction from F2.0 to F3.0. In a three-junction configuration, simulation shows that a 0.57% system efficiency gain is possible when the filter refractive index is increased from 1.5 to 1.95. An efficiency gain of 0.63% is associated with an aperture size reduction from F2.0 to F3.0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043095
JournalJournal of Photonics for Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Dichroic filters
  • Holographic optical elements
  • Photovoltaic
  • Solar energy
  • Spectrum splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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