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Home > News > Nanotechnology provides path for greater solar cell efficiency

May 23rd, 2005

Nanotechnology provides path for greater solar cell efficiency

Researchers at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have found that tiny "nanocrystals," also known as "quantum dots," produce as many as three electrons from one high-energy photon of sunlight. This discovery may greatly increase the amount of electricity produced by solar cells. When today's photovoltaic solar cells absorb a photon of sunlight, the energy gets converted to at most one electron, and the rest is lost as heat. The recent research demonstrates the potential for solar cells that reduce wasteful heat and maximize the amount of the sun's energy converted to electricity—a key step toward making solar energy more cost-competitive with conventional power sources.


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