Researchers predict quantum leap in solar efficiency

06/21/2010 | BusinessGreen (U.K.)

The efficiency of solar panels could jump from 31% to more than 60%, thanks to a breakthrough that harnesses quantum effects to suck the energy out of hard-to-catch "hot electrons." The technology -- dubbed an "ultimate solar cell" -- uses quantum dots to slow the cooling of hot electrons, which gives researchers enough time to grab and harness them before they lose their energy. However, Xiaoyang Zhu, the lead researcher and a professor of chemistry, noted that much work remains to be done before it all becomes reality.

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