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While the adaption of solar energy continues to grow, solar cells are still really expensive and largely inefficient. Solar projects require a lot of land, sometimes on the order of many square miles. So what if you could print out the solar cells, just as easily as ink is printed on a newspaper?
That’s exactly what Argonne National Laboratory scientists have in mind. The researchers created layers of semiconductor film that can be used to produce cheaper layers to coat solar cells.
One way to grow solar cells at low cost is to manufacture them in solution. Using quantum dots, the researchers suspended bits of semiconductors in liquid, allowing semiconductor parts to bond with inorganic molecules when heated to a moderate temperature.