Nanocrystals expand the range of solar cell light energy to ultraviolet and infrared regions

Common solar cells made of crystalline silicon can only access roughly half of the total sunlight spectrum for conversion of light energy into electricity. Searching for more effective materials, Chinese scientists have now combined three semiconducting sulfide crystals to a ternary nanostructured photovoltaic system that absorbs irradiation from ultraviolet to near infrared regions. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the nanorods effectively convert the full-spectrum light energy into electric current. This discovery marks a new level in the development of more efficient solar cells.