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Quantum-dot mixture could boost solar cells

from Physics World

A new way to extend the lifetimes of charge carriers in solar cells has been unveiled by researchers in Spain. The technique involves creating an aggregate of two different kinds of quantum dots, which can be made using low-cost solution-processing techniques. As detailed in a paper in Nature Photonics, the method could be used to boost the performance of solar cells — even those based on photovoltaic materials that have relatively poor optoelectronic properties. Solution-processed inorganic solar cells are made by depositing layers of quantum dots — tiny pieces of semiconductor — in colloidal suspension. The devices have shown much promise because they can absorb light over a wide spectrum of wavelengths. This is a result of the fact that the electronic band gaps in a quantum dot can be tuned over a large energy range by simply changing the size of the dot. more

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