Some intriguing news on the alternative energy front this evening:
“Rice University scientists today revealed a breakthrough method for producing molecular specks of semiconductors called quantum dots, a discovery that could clear the way for better, cheaper solar energy panels.
The research, by scientists at Rice’s Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN), appears this week in the journal Small. It describes a new chemical method for making four-legged cadmium selenide quantum dots, which previous research has shown to be particularly effective at converting sunlight into electrical energy.
‘Our work knocks down a big barrier in developing quantum-dot-based photovoltaics as an alternative to the conventional, more expensive silicon-based solar cells,’ said paper co-author and principal investigator Michael Wong, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. “
Quantum dots are one of those really interesting macroscopic manifestations of the wacky world of non-locality. Sort of like lasers do. They’ve been known about for a little over a decade, and people have been thinking that they are perfect for emitter roles (like replacing LED lasers etc.) This is the first I’ve come across someone suggesting them to collect energy.
Read the rest here: Quantum dot recipe may lead to cheaper solar panels