Tuesday December 9th 2014
Scientists from the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering have invented an innovative way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs).
Rather than plastering rooftops with heavy panels, future solar panels could be sprayed onto tiles by a Ghostbuster-style team using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs).
Illan Kramer at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering commented: ‘My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof.’
‘My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof.’
The new system, sprayLD, blasts a liquid containing CQDs directly onto flexible surfaces, such as film or plastic, like printing a newspaper by applying ink onto a roll of paper.
The system is easily built using a spray nozzle, commonly used in steel mills to cool steel with a fine mist of water and a few regular air brushes from an art store.
Krammer added: ‘This is something you can build in a Junkyard Wars fashion, which is basically how we did it. We think of this as a no-compromise solution for shifting from batch processing to roll-to-roll.’
Professor Ted Sargent, at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, said: ‘As quantum dot solar technology advances rapidly in performance, it’s important to determine how to scale them and make this new class of solar technologies manufacturable.
‘We were thrilled when this attractively manufacturable spray-coating process also led to superior performance devices showing improved control and purity.’