University Of Queensland Develops Next-Gen Solar Power Technology


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Due to significant breakthroughs at the University of Queensland, the development of next-generation solar power technology has the potential to be used as flexible “skin” over hard surfaces. The researchers at the University of Queensland were able to set a world record for the conversion of solar energy to electricity through the use of tiny nanoparticles called quantum dots.

Quantum dots will pass electrons between one another to generate electric current when exposed to solar energy contained in a solar cell device. Previously, the researchers were challenged by the rough and unstable surface of quantum dots which makes them less efficient at converting solar to electrical energy. However, Professor Lianzhou Wang’s team was able to develop a unique surface engineering strategy.

According to Professor Wang, the development is a significant step in making solar energy technologically and commercially viable. The development can also support global energy renewable targets. Conventional solar technologies often make use of rigid and expensive materials but the new quantum dots that were developed by the university are flexible and printable. The new quantum dots are compatible with affordable large-scale printing technologies.

The new quantum dots can be used as a transparent skin that can power cars, planes, homes and wearable technology. The huge range of potential applications is expected to play a major role in meeting the UN’s goals of increasing the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix.

According to UQ Vice Chancellor and President Professor Peter Hǿj AC, the world needs to rapidly minimize carbon emissions and this goal can only be realized by investing more in researches that will improve energy-generation technologies and develop new technologies. A big part of the process is harnessing the power of technology and scientific researches.