Quantum Dots Promise to Significantly Boost Solar Cell Efficiencies (Fact Sheet)
In the search for a third generation of solar-cell technologies, a leading candidate is the use of 'quantum dots' -- tiny spheres of semiconductor material measuring only about 2-10 billionths of a meter in diameter. Quantum dots have the potential to dramatically increase the efficiency of converting sunlight into energy -- perhaps even doubling it in some devices -- because of their ability to generate more than one bound electron-hole pair, or exciton, per incoming photon. NREL has produced quantum dots using colloidal suspensions; then, using molecular self-assembly, they have been fabricated into the first-ever quantum-dot solar cells. While these devices operate with only 4.4% efficiency, they demonstrate the capability for low-cost manufacturing.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Report Number(s):
- DOE Contract Number:
- Resource Type:
- Technical Report
- Resource Relation:
- Related Information: Innovation Impact: Solar, NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
- Research Org:
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO.
- Sponsoring Org:
- USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Solar Energy Techologies Program
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 14 SOLAR ENERGY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY SOLAR CELLS; PHOTOVOLTAICS; THIRD-GENERATION SOLAR CELLS; QUANTUM DOTS; QUANTUM-DOT SOLAR CELLS; EXCITONS; MULTIPLE EXCITON GENERATION; MEG; COLLOIDAL SUSPENSIONS; MOLECULAR SELF-ASSEMBLY; LEAD SULFIDE; NANOWIRES; QUANTUM COMPUTING; Solar Energy - Photovoltaics
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