NASA and the university of Arkansas are funding new researches for solar sells. The goal of the research is to develop solar cells to power satellites with an efficiency of 40 percent instead of the current 23 percent.
In the new solar cell silicon will no longer be used. They have two approaches in mind to create the new cells.
According to the first approach the new cells will be made from nanocrystals grown from a mix of copper, indium, gallium and selenium together with titanium-dioxide or zinc-oxide nanotubes.
The second approach uses molecular beam epitaxy to create quantum dots of indium arsenide.
The plasmonic effect of trapping sunlight will be investigated as well to increase the efficiency of the energy conversion.