“Engineers have used inexpensive materials to create a solar cell certified at a world-record 7.0 percent efficiency.”
The solar cell represents a 37 percent increase in efficiency over the previous certified record.
A breakthrough in the development of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) films allowed the researchers from the University of Toronto and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) to develop the solar cell. Their work is featured in a letter published in Nature Nanotechnology.
“Previously, quantum dot solar cells have been limited by the large internal surface areas of the nanoparticles in the film, which made extracting electricity difficult,” says Susanna Thon, a lead co-author of the paper. “Our breakthrough was to use a combination of organic and inorganic chemistry to completely cover all of the exposed surfaces.”