The University of Queensland Claims Higher Solar Efficiency Using ‘Quantum Dots’

In an important development that can potentially change the way we look at solar power generation, researchers at The University of Queensland have come up with a flexible skin that can be put over hard surfaces to convert solar energy to electricity.

According to the paper released by the university, the researchers have set a world record for the conversion of solar energy to electricity using tiny nanoparticles called ‘quantum dots’ which pass electrons between one another and generate electricity when they are exposed to sunlight or solar energy. The team of researchers at the University achieved 16.6% efficiency surpassing the previous world record of 13.4%.

Speaking on the latest development, Liangzhou Wang, who led the research team, said that the breakthrough is highly important as the conventional solar technologies use rigid and expensive materials.

“The new class of quantum dots the university has developed is flexible and printable. Eventually, it could play a major part in meeting the United Nations’ goal to increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix,” he said.

“This new generation of quantum dots is compatible with more affordable and large-scale printable technologies,” Professor Wang added.

According to the university, this latest technology has achieved 25% efficiency over the previous world record.

Recently, Panasonic Corporation announced that it had achieved the world’s highest energy conversion efficiency of 16.09% for a perovskite solar module by developing a lightweight technology using a glass substrate and large-area coating method based on inkjet printing.

In September last year, a team of research scientists from the Australian National University (ANU) achieved a breakthrough in the efficiency of solar cells, an outcome multiple entities around the world are incessantly attempting to achieve. The team at ANU had achieved a 21.6% solar cell efficiency.


Image credit: University of Queensland