Quantum Dots Promise to Significantly Boost Solar Cell Efficiencies (Fact Sheet)

    Research output: NRELFact Sheet


    In the search for a third generation of solar-cell technologies, a leading candidate is the use of 'quantum dots' -- tiny spheres of semiconductor material measuring only about 2-10 billionths of a meter in diameter. Quantum dots have the potential to dramatically increase the efficiency of converting sunlight into energy -- perhaps even doubling it in some devices -- because of their ability togenerate more than one bound electron-hole pair, or exciton, per incoming photon. NREL has produced quantum dots using colloidal suspensions; then, using molecular self-assembly, they have been fabricated into the first-ever quantum-dot solar cells. While these devices operate with only 4.4% efficiency, they demonstrate the capability for low-cost manufacturing.
    Original languageAmerican English
    StatePublished - 2013

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/FS-6A42-59015


    • colloidal suspensions
    • excitons
    • lead sulfide
    • MEG
    • molecular self-assembly
    • multiple exciton generation (MEG)
    • nanowires
    • photovoltaics (PV)
    • quantum computing
    • quantum dots (QD)
    • quantum dots (QD)
    • solar cells
    • solar cells
    • third-generation solar cells


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