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Scientists at RIT’s NanoPower Research Laboratories led by director Ryne Raffaelle have received a $847,109 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop improved solar cells. The project aims to take current solar cells used for space power to the next level by developing nanostructured materials.
Raffaelle’s team will use nanoscale crystals known as quantum dots to alter the way a solar cell absorbs light and converts it into electricity. Augmenting current solar cell technology with an array of quantum dots will enhance the cell’s short-circuit current and improve overall efficiency.