Liquid-Based Multijunction Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Collection Device
Journal article, 2021

Photoswitchable molecules-based solar thermal energy storage system (MOST) can potentially be a route to store solar energy for future use. Herein, the use of a multijunction MOST device that combines various photoswitches with different onsets of absorption to push the efficiency limit on solar energy collection and storage is explored. With a parametric model calculation, it is shown that the efficiency limit of MOST concept can be improved from 13.0% to 18.2% with a double-junction system and to 20.5% with a triple-junction system containing ideal, red-shifted MOST candidates. As a proof-of-concept, the use of a three-layered MOST device is experimentally demonstrated. The device uses different photoswitches including a norbornadiene derivative, a dihydroazulene derivative, and an azobenzene derivative in liquid state with different MOSTproperties, to increase the energy capture and storage behavior. This conceptional device introduces a new way of thinking and designing optimal molecular candidates for MOST, as much improvement can be made by tailoring molecules to efficiently store solar energy at specific wavelengths.

multijunction solar collector

solar energy storage

organic photoswitches

molecular solar thermal energy storage efficiency


Zhihang Wang

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Henry Moïse

University of California

Martina Cacciarini

University of Florence

M. B. Nielsen

University of Copenhagen

Masa Aki Morikawa

Kyushu University

Nobuo Kimizuka

Kyushu University

Kasper Moth-Poulsen

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Advanced Science

2198-3844 (ISSN) 21983844 (eISSN)

Vol. 8 21 2103060

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Energy Systems

Areas of Advance






More information

Latest update

4/5/2022 5