New Spray On Material Could Make Everything A Clean Solar Generator
The idea of everything around us doubling a solar panel, could soon be a reality, thanks to a new breakthrough in quantum dot research which could significantly change the way we harvest the suns energy in the future.
Researchers at Los Alamos National Labs, and the University of Milano-Bicocca, have synthesised a new generation of quantum dots that can be embedded into a transparent spray polymer to capture the sun’s energy.
Quantum dots – nanocrystals made of semiconductor materials – are already used in solar panel systems due to their low-cost and mechanical properties, as well as transistors, LEDs and lasers.
“The key accomplishment is the demonstration of large-area luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) that use a new generation of specially engineered quantum dots,” said Victor Klimov, lead researcher at the Centre of Advanced Solar Photophysics at Los Alamos.
The findings, published in Nature Photonics, demonstrate how a slab of transparent LSC material is able to capture and transport light energy through quantum dots.
“The LSC serves as a light-harvesting antenna which concentrates solar radiation collected from a large area onto a much smaller solar cell, and this increases its power output,” said Klimov.
Sunlight captured is radiated through the LSC towards a small solar cell on the slab’s edge, which increases power efficiency in a way that could have broad applications in future solar cells.