Quantum-Dot Solar Windows Can Power Entire Buildings

By: | October 19th, 2016

Image courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory

A team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory has demonstrated that quantum dot, solar-powered windows can really be scaled up. In fact, they created quantum dot solar powered windows that are large enough to power entire buildings.

As per the National Laboratory, the most important component of these solar windows is the luminescent solar concentrator (LSC). These LSCs operate on the principle of collecting solar radiation over a large area via colloidal quantum dots.

These quantum dots are semiconductor spheres having a core and shell of different materials. Absorption and emission spectra of quantum dots can be tuned easily by varying the size and/or composition of the core and the shell.

Lead scientist Victor Klimov said, “This tunability is the key property of these specially designed quantum dots that allows for record-size, high-performance LSC devices.”

Not only that, these quantum dots have exceptional properties to collect light. They are highly photostable (sunlight won’t break them down), they have widely tunable absorption and emission spectra, and nearly 100 percent emission efficiencies.

These solar windows will work well for the multistory buildings or other urban spaces where there is hardly any space for solar panels. Not only this, but scientists also expect that use of LSCs could help in reducing solar power costs.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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