Notre Dame researchers invent paint-on solar cells

Notre Dame researchers invent paint-on solar cells

I’m constantly amazed by the movements that go on in the world of green tech. A few months ago I took a look at what I would need to do in order to provide enough solar power to simply power my office in case of severe weather and I was impressed by the advances that had been made. But nothing stands up to what we’re seeing out of Notre Dame University where researchers have invented a paint-on solar cell.

According to Science Daily, the cells use “power-producing nanoparticles” that, while not as efficient as traditional solar cells, are considerably less expensive and can be painted onto any conductive surface.

“The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we’ve reached so far is 1 percent, which is well behind the usual 10 to 15 percent efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells. But this paint can be made cheaply and in large quantities. If we can improve the efficiency somewhat, we may be able to make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future.”

The lead researcher, Prashant Kamat, says that the team wanted to do something “transformative”, and they truly have. The team says that no special equipment is required to apply the paint, and they’re presently working on ways to improve the stability of the material.

Picture it – In a few years when you paint your house, you could be pulling yourself off the grid and reducing your carbon footprint as well. Nice work, Notre Dame. You win the Internet today.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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