April 26, 2004
Nanocrystal Photovoltaics May Achieve 60% Conversion Efficiency

Victor I. Klimov and Richard Schaller of the Los Alamos National Laboratory have shown that quantum dot nanocrystals will be able to absorb light for conversion to electricity at a much higher rate of efficiency than existing photovoltaic materials.

In ordinary photovoltaic cells, lots of sunlight goes to waste as it heats up the cell. New results suggest that solar cells made from nanocrystals can trade this wasteful heating for an electricity-generating boost.

Theoretical calculations indicate that nanocrystal-based solar cells could convert 60 percent of sunlight into electricity, say Richard D. Schaller and Victor I. Klimov of Los Alamos (N.M.) National Laboratory. The best solar cells today operate at an efficiency of about 32 percent.

Schaller and Klimov describe their results, the first observations of a long-sought cue ball effect in nanometer-scale crystals, in an upcoming Physical Review Letters.

A group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is pursuing a different approach that can convert over 50 percent of sunlight to electricity and Wladek Walukiewicz of that group claims that it will take 3 years to investigate whether their own approach will be practical to use for production of solar cells. For more on that approach see my previous post Material Discovered For Full Spectrum Photovoltaic Cell.

The problem of how to cheaply convert sunlight to useful electric power is eventually going to be solved. It would be worth it to spend more on research in this area to make the needed breakthroughs happen sooner. The same holds true for battery technology and fuel cell technology.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2004 April 26 12:54 AM  Energy Solar

Stephen G. Dees said at May 19, 2005 11:44 AM:

One area which would be most appreciated is the establishment of a web site solely for the purposes of advertizing and sponsoring US based activities:

In all areas which are key technologies:
A partial listing:
fuel cells- all technologies (phosphoric acid, molten carbonate polymer, solid oxide, membrane)
integrated photovoltaic electolyzers
thermal storage
High capacity electron storage
Photovoltaic cells
solar thermal
solar thermal electric

I am advocating a single point of contact web site, strictly, and unashamedly, for US based, meaning US owned and operated corporations.

I specifically eliminate the foreign companies with one foot in the US but the manufacturing located in India or some other "nickel-a-day-for-pay-country". More imports are not going to assist this country in getting off its butt.

I also find it rather interesting that the American Negroid community which has generated some much noise on some many domestically located pseudo-slavery issues in the United States, has taken no stance in the business posture of Chinese, African, Mexican and Indian based businesses which practice true slavery on their MANUFACTURING work force. I guess that's too close to home huh??

Let's keep the shysters and bullcrappers and the 21st century slavemongers out.

American taxpayers and workers deserve a better rate of return on their tax dollar than having the research, that they pay for through purchase of products, or through payment of taxes, used to put some "2-yen-a-day" worker in "ying yang" to work at impoverishing the US citizen or the country in which he lives.

Do you think we need a place where, real advances, and real activities, of United States companies, operating in the United States, benefiting the United States and supporting the economy of the United States are the key area of focus?

This multinational global economy garbage, generated in the US by the never ending series of "village idiot" presidents, is damaging not only the american spirit it is damaging the very viability of the U.S. corporate existance.

I refer not to some paper-based, do nothing but generate verbage (garbage) corporation, the one I am referring to is one that makes something, not a burger king corp. No making burgers aint manufacturing. See, it is real simple, you find, devise, invent the better rat trap, you test it, YOU HAVE YOUR COMPANY MAKE IT CAUSE IT IS THE BEST DAMN RAT TRAP ON THE DAMN PLANET, It is then sold in the United States, cause rats are a major problem here,and then from the profits, which come from making products and selling them, you start looking for an even better rat trap.

The present approach to the process is get the money from congress, spend the money, give the techonology to some "ying yang" for free, its made in Bungholedish, and the people of the United States by it at Walmart.

Then the same corporate R&D giant gets back in the congressional free-lunch-line and the process is repeated. Year after year, session after session, topic after topic it is a crappy cycle that has to stop.


A taxpayer based effort, which these efforts have been largely financed by gets it rate of return by jobs and the economic benefits to the country of the capitalization of the research and development. When the research is originated and paid for by the US taxpayer process and the production is made in some other country that is nothing more than Washington manufactured fraud of a the taxpayers.

I would like the potential criticist to do a web search on the topic and discover the number of 4 th rate countries including england who are unabashedly advertizing their companies ripping off US original research from the continent of europe, while the village idiot massages the prime ministers private parts.

These "U.S." companies "bleed out" the progress and the profits are made elsewhere. This crap has got to go. I am speaking from over thirty years of witnessing this garbage.

Doug Bailey said at January 10, 2007 11:47 AM:

First time I've read ANYTHING intelligent about this problem. We need a national dialog (to include interested laymen) on this critical subject. Ideally, leadership would come from above, but our "leaders" are too busy stamping out the fires they create, and too consumed with getting themselves reelected. An expanding awareness of this very interesting issue might be picked up by some media champion (think Lou Dobbs) and result in a big payoff for the country. Keep talking Stephen!

Armando Sogno said at December 28, 2009 6:04 AM:

Dear fellow,
you may not know, one third of the public debt of the United States is in the hands of the Chinese. A third, and is growing. I share your choice to buy products made in the USA, but your ignorant and racist speech is a clear denial of the fact that the United States is no longer the first country in the world. The Empire is falling, as has already happened with many others in human history. Then we want again to think about the differences in skin color, or think a little differently?
With affection,
a citizen of a country far away.

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