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Monday, April 21, 2014

Solar-panel windows are now possible

Researchers have created transparent solar cells using quantum dots.
Image: Nemeziya/Shutterstock
Windows that double as solar panels could soon be a reality after a breakthrough in quantum dot research.
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca in the US have created a new generation of quantum dots - nano crystals made of semiconductor materials - that are able to be embedded in a transparent polymer.
These quantum dots are able to capture sunlight and transport it through the plastic matrix to a solar cell on its edge, the International Business Times reports.
The findings are published in Nature Photonics, and the scientists are calling this set-up a large-area luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs).
"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 Victor Klimov, lead researcher at the Centre of Advanced Solar Photophysics at Los Alamos.
The breakthrough could lead to house windows that soak up the Sun's energy. We can't wait.
Source: International Business Times

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