nanoparticlesWe’ve seen houses where the owners have tried to go green by installing solar panels on top of their roofs. Most of the time the solar panel installations do stick out like a sore thumb, but thanks to a new discovery, solar panels could soon be painted on top of our roofs instead, making it a sleeker and more elegant solution.

This is thanks to the development of a new form of nanoparticles called colloidal quantum dots. The creation of these nanoparticles are the result of the efforts led by post-doctoral researcher Zhijun Ning and Professor Ted Sargent, with their findings published on Nature Materials (publication is behind a paywall).

So what makes these nanoparticles so special? Well apart from the possible aesthetics, these nanoparticles are reportedly more efficient than standard semiconductors. Typically semiconductors tend to lose electrons when exposed to oxygen, as the materials used will end up binding with the oxygen atoms. However with the colloidal quantum dots, the researchers have managed to overcome that problem.

The result would be semiconductors that are able to absorb the sun’s rays more efficiently. It can also be used to create better sensors, infrared lasers, remote controls, and more. Due to their nanoparticle nature, they can also be mixed in with ink/paint, which could in turn lead to the possibility of us being able to paint solar panels right onto our roofs.

We’re not sure when this technology will be made more widely available or commercially, but it sounds very promising, but what do you guys think?

Filed in Green. Read more about Solar.

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