Los Alamos-based company UbiQD manufactures low-hazard quantum dots (QDs) and nanocomposites that can be used for various applications, including life sciences, solar cells, anti-counterfeiting, etc. Upping the ante in the solar energy industry, the company is utilizing the quantum dots technology to make solar window panels that do not compromise aesthetics while providing an efficiency of 3.5-percent.
UbiQD transparent solar panels are made from two layers of glass glued together with a polymer that contains nanoparticles known as quantum dots. With a core of copper indium sulphide and a shell of zinc sulphide, these quantum dots are tiny semiconductors that can manipulate light.
When the nanoparticles are excited by exposure to UV light, they release photons that travel along with the transparent panel toward its edge. The perimeter is fitted with solar cells, which convert the photons into electrical current. The solar cell edging sits in the frame of a window, which stays out of sight.
The company also claims that different colors of the windows can be achieved by combining the quantum dots with different color dyes. There is also a possibility to customize the transparency of the glass.
The company is working on improving this LSC technology so that it can be used to create energy-efficient buildings of the future. These transparent solar window panels will be highly useful in towering buildings in big cities where space is limited for solar panels.