Describes a new efficiency milestone that has been achieved by quantum dot solar cells, a kind of solar PV that uses the unique properties of quantum dots to capture photons and convert their energy into an electric current. This form of solar PV has languished for some time due to the low efficiencies that have been so far achieved. By finding a way to produce a double layer cell the research team at the University of Toronto has been able to achieve significantly higher overall efficiencies than has previously been possible using quantum dot technology. Quantum dot technology holds the promise of being able to ultimately produce very inexpensive solar cells, if the low efficiency problem can be overcome.
The greentech top talent shortage is real. Green industries’ high growth and fast innovation, makes for fierce competition among experienced green professionals. High tech-experienced talent is filling some of the demand; the ease of transition depends on the role and industry.
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have developed a new type of solar cell that comprise of arrays of thin silicon wires embedded in polymer substrate. The unique optical interactions between these wires provide the cells with an enhanced light absorption capability and improved internal quantum efficiency over conventional solar cells. These new cells are much cheaper to produce on account of the very low amounts of silicon needed to build them. The superior structural flexibility possessed by the silicon wire array solar cells is expected to further reduce their production cost since they can be produced using a lower-cost process.