Breaking News from the U of MN! Nanotechnology for better solar energy capture

by KelsiDayle on Jun. 29th, 2010

Old-fashioned.  Now out of date?: Solar cells have been around for decades, but with low-efficiency and high manufacturing costs, they have yet to be adapted into our everyday life.  Could new interdisciplinary research by the University of Minnesota make solar power more efficient and affordable?
Old-fashioned. Now out of date?: Solar cells have been around for decades, but with low-efficiency and high manufacturing costs, they have yet to be adapted into our everyday life. Could new interdisciplinary research by the University of Minnesota make solar power more efficient and affordable?Courtesy Andrej Salov

This month University of Minnesota researchers have developed a technique to better capture solar energy using 'quantum dots,' a type of nanoparticle. Researcher William Tisdale said, while

“This work is a necessary but not sufficient step for building very high-efficiency solar cells. It provides a motivation for researchers to work on quantum dots and solar cells based on quantum dots.”

The technology could improve solar energy efficiency from 30 to 66 percent! That's incredible. Furthermore, the improvements may also cut manufacturing costs (and carbon footprints) by removing the need for high temperature processing. The ramifications for nanotechnology and clean energy abound.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

Cool news. Quantum dots are a big *cough* deal over at the U of M's nano labs. We featured Ghidewon Arefe a while back, who is looking into using silicon quantum dots for improved cancer detection.

posted on Wed, 06/30/2010 - 9:58am
KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

Ghidewon a wicked smart scientist and a pretty cool guy -- I took a nanotechnology policy class with him last fall. Neat to see that he's on the Buzz! Thanks for sharing, Bryan.

posted on Wed, 06/30/2010 - 11:14am
bryan kennedy's picture

Funny! "Small" world...lord, I really just can't stop with the nano jokes.

posted on Wed, 06/30/2010 - 2:23pm
askjfdj alskfh akdsafhkds jf kasdf aksdjf ;lasd's picture
askjfdj alskfh akdsafhkds jf kasdf aksdjf ;lasd says:

i think that this new technology is wicked AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Thu, 08/05/2010 - 2:30pm

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