Future Earth

Solar Paint

Solar Paint


Cheap renewable energy tech

A team from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA has developed a a “solar paint” that could mark a significant step towards the implementation of accessible renewable energy tech.

The paint is still in further development as the conversion into power is still a fair way off that of traditional solar panels. More refinement is needed. It is however, able to be produced in large quantities at a fraction of the price of traditional solar power tech.

Solar paint

The key is based in quantum dot materials started with nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and coated them with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide. Both compounds that can absorb photons.

These photons hitting the cadmium compounds causes an electron to escape, which is absorbed by the TiO2. T he cadmium sulfide mixture produced a yellow paint, while the cadmium selenide mix produced a dark brown paint.

The most efficient was a mix of the two producing a light brown paint. The development team has christened the new paint “Sun-Believable”.solar-paint1

These paints are brushed onto a transparent conducting materials and exposed to light which creates electricity.

“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.”

With some further work on the efficiency and stability of this product by the team at Notre Dame, this paint could well be hitting our shelves and improving quality of life about our globe before too long.