Research into small-scale solar energy applications is yielding big results, as seen in two recent advances:
- A smart phone screen with embedded thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar technology can capture wasted light that escapes around the edges of the screen. This experimental system with "photovoltaics, transistors, and supercapacitor yielded a system with an average efficiency of 11 percent and peak efficiency of 18 percent."
- University researchers have found a way to capture energy from infrared light by using solar cells with embedded charged quantum dots. Theirs is a "nanomaterials-based technology that has the potential to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells up to 45 percent."