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Quantum Dots Could Double Solar Energy Efficiency

June 18th, 2010 06:37 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

dptalia notes the recent publication in Science of research demonstrating a way to use hot electrons in solar cells, resulting in an overall energy conversion efficiency of 66%. Here is the abstract in Science; access to the full article requires a subscription. “A team of University of Minnesota-led researchers has cleared a major hurdle in the drive to build solar cells with potential efficiencies up to twice as high as current levels, which rarely exceed 30 percent. … Tisdale and his colleagues demonstrated that quantum dots — made not of silicon but of another semiconductor called lead selenide — could indeed be made to surrender their ‘hot’ electrons before they cooled. The electrons were pulled away by titanium dioxide, another common inexpensive and abundant semiconductor material that behaves like a wire.”

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