Inexpensive Solar Cell Paint One Step Closer After "Major Advance" in Research

Bart Everson/CC BY 2.0
Not the actual paint...

TreeHugger has covered paint-on or spray-on solar cells on a number of occasions. The idea isn't new by any means. But some researchers from the University of Notre Dame say they have made a "major advance" towards making an inexpensive solar paint. They've called it (be prepared to groan) Sun-Believable.

Lead researcher Prashant Kamat:

By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we've made a one-coast solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment.

The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we've reached so far is 1%, which is well below the usual 10-15% efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells. But this paint can be made cheaply and in large quantities. If we can improve the efficiency somewhat, we may be able to make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future.

Read the research: Sun-Believable Solar Paint. A Transformative One-Step Approach for Designing Nanocystalline Solar Cells

Tags: Solar Power | Solar Technology