Quantum dots – nanoparticles of semiconductor material able to carry a charge, have been investigated for their solar cell potential in various materials for at least a decade and have made impressive progress since the first reported cell efficiency for the technology – 2.7% in 2010.
This week, scientists at the University of Queensland (UQ) took another step forward with the technology. The group achieved 16.6% efficiency by synthesizing a quantum dot solar cell from a halide perovskite, improving on the record for such a device by almost 25% (relative efficiency). The measurements were confirmed at Newport PV Lab in Montana in the U.S., and verified by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
“The near-25% improvement in efficiency we have achieved over the previous world record is important,” said Lianzhou Wang, director of the Nanomaterials Centre at the University of Queensland. “It is effectively the difference between quantum dot solar cell technology being an exciting ‘prospect’ and being commercially viable.”