It’s clear that once solar panels become cost-effective when compared to traditional sources of electricity, the adoption of this clean and renewable source of energy grows exponentially. Toward this end, researchers at RTI International have developed a new solar technology that could make solar energy 75% less expensive.
The RTI solar cells are developed from semiconductor particles, known as colloidal quantum dots, and can have a power conversion efficiency that is competitive to traditional cells at a fraction of the cost. An initial analysis shows that the material costs is approximately $20 per square meter—as much as 75 percent less than traditional solar cells.
The cells, which are composed of lightweight, flexible layers, have the potential to be manufactured using high volume, low cost roll-to-roll processing with inexpensive coating processes. Unlike traditional solar cells, the RTI-developed cells can be processed at room temperature, further reducing input energy requirements and cost.
You can read more about this promising technology in a paper published in Applied Physics Letters.