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Quantum Dots Boost Solar Cells Efficiency

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New technologies emerge every day, and it gets even more exciting when they really benefit our society. One of these inventions is the new solar energy cells that have more than 100% external quantum efficiency (EQE) for photons in the solar range, while every absorbed blue photon can produce 30% more current.

EQE measures how many photons are converted into electrons. The innovation here comes from tiny crystalline materials, a.k.a quantum dots, which overcome the limitations of traditional semiconductors by harvesting energy that is usually lost, and therefore increase the electrical current.

This process is called multiple exciton generation (MEG). This results in generation of 114% of EQE for 3.5 eV photons, which shows the usability of the concept in existing energy devices.

MEG technology is developing with an impressive speed, according to Joseph Luther, a senior scientist at NREL. Considering that generating solar energy is a lot more expensive than using the more readily available non-renewable sources, implementing MEG in new technologies shows that people are starting to care a bit more about the way electricity is being produced. As Luther also states, this idea of using quantum dots in solar cells might lead to much cheaper solar panels and therefore greater use of renewable energy sources.

Via: Clean Technica

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