December 22, 2011
New Paint Captures Sun Light, Turns It To Energy
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Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have created a paint that is capable of generating electricity from sunlight.
The team said that it is well on its way to developing an inexpensive paint product they have named "Sun-Believable".
"By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we've made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment," Prashant Kamat, Professor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry and an investigator in Notre Dame's Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano), said in a press release.
Kamat said the highest light-to-energy conversion the team has attained to date is 1 percent. He believes given the paint can be made cheaply in large quantities, it could "make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future."
Sun-Believable consists of nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide coated with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide, suspended in a water-alcohol mixture to create a paste.
Once the paste is brushed onto a transparent conducting material and exposed to light, it creates electricity.
The team is planning to study the ways to improve the stability of the new material.
The research was funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences. It was published in the journal ACS Nano.
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