It is estimated that the amount of solar energy that bombards the Earth is about ten thousand times the amount of energy that is currently being used globally. However, a commercial photovoltaic cell can only convert about 15% of the sun’s energy receives. Team QUANTUM SEA (Quantum dot Usage as A New Technique to Unleash Maximum Solar Energy Absorption) will attempt to increase solar cell efficiency through the use of quantum dots, which are nanocrystal semiconductors whose properties vary based on their size and shape.
The team will try to harvest more solar energy by applying a coating of spherical quantum dots on solar panels. Quantum dots will absorb high energy photons and convert them into lower energy photons so that the solar cell will be better suited to capitalize on the sun’s energy. In addition, the quantum dot layer will serve as an anti-reflection layer so that more light is trapped and used by the solar cell.