The technique could be the gateway to new generations of solar cells, light-emitting diodes and photodetectors.
Leu’s group developed the new glass to improve the ability of solar cells to capture light and turn it into power.
Conventional solar cells contain silicon, which captures sunlight and converts its energy to electricity. The panels are dark, because silicon absorbs light across a wide spectrum of wavelengths, allowing very little to pass through.
They are promising materials for making next-generation solar cells because they are inexpensive to manufacture and are considerably efficient at converting light to electricity.
Modern solar cells, which use energy from light to generate electrons and holes that are then transported out of semiconducting materials and into external circuits for human use, have existed in one form or another for over 60 years.
Quantum dot solar cells emerged in 2010 as the newest technology on an NREL chart that tracks research efforts to convert sunlight to electricity with increasing efficiency.