New breakthrough increases solar cell conversion efficiency to 66%

Researchers from the University of Texas in Austin and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis have discovered a process that can be used toincrease the conversion efficiency of solar cells up to 66 percent.

The process transfers hot electrons from quantum dots to an electronacceptor. In typical semiconductor solar cells, photons with energiesabove the semiconductor’s bandgap generate hot electrons, and much ofthe energy from the hot electrons is lost through heat before it can becaptured and used for electricity.

This new process uses quantumdots to slow down the cooling process of hot electrons and then captures and transfers them. This allows the addition of energy that iscurrently lost as heat in conventional solar cells.

“This is adramatic leap forward in making solar power more cost efficient,” stated Robert Hines, President of Evolution Solar. “This has the potential todouble solar power output and cut solar payback times in half.”