Solar Cell System Produces More Energy Than Light Absorbed

In something that sounds close to magic, some researchers the American National Renewable Energy Laboratory have found a way to get solar cells to produce more energy with over an 100% quantum efficiency. Basically more energy is created than light that hits the cell. This is done by exploiting quantum mechanics to produce more energy from solar cells.

The external quantum efficiency for photocurrent, usually expressed as a percentage, is the number of electrons flowing per second in the external circuit of a solar cell divided by the number of photons per second of a specific energy (or wavelength) that enter the solar cell. None of the solar cells to date exhibit external photocurrent quantum efficiencies above 100 percent at any wavelength in the solar spectrum.

Quantum dots, by confining charge carriers within their tiny volumes, can harvest excess energy that otherwise would be lost as heat – and therefore greatly increase the efficiency of converting photons into usable free energy.
The researchers achieved the 114 percent external quantum efficiency with a layered cell consisting of antireflection-coated glass with a thin layer of a transparent conductor, a nanostructured zinc oxide layer, a quantum dot layer of lead selenide treated with ethanedithol and hydrazine, and a thin layer of gold for the top electrode.

In a 2006 publication, NREL scientists Mark Hanna and Arthur J. Nozik showed that ideal MEG in solar cells based on quantum dots could increase the theoretical thermodynamic power conversion efficiency of solar cells by about 35 percent relative to today’s conventional solar cells. Furthermore, the fabrication of Quantum Dot Solar Cells is also amenable to inexpensive, high-throughput roll-to-roll manufacturing.

Read the rest at Physorg.

Plants are Quantum Powered

I don’t really understand all of this quantum power stuff – it just seems so neat! Apparently plants use some quantum level process for photosynthesis which is what plants need to do in order to live. I have no idea how this will impact anything, but it’s just such a groovy discovery.

In a paper entitled, Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems, he and his collaborators report the detection of “quantum beating” signals, coherent electronic oscillations in both donor and acceptor molecules, generated by light-induced energy excitations, like the ripples formed when stones are tossed into a pond.

Ion Catching Device

When it comes to anything quantum I tend to only have a loose idea of what is going on, but I know this much: ion catching is good

“Ions (electrically charged atoms) are promising candidates for use as quantum bits (qubits) in quantum computers. The NIST team, one of 18 research groups worldwide experimenting with ion qubits, previously has demonstrated at a rudimentary level all the basic building blocks for a quantum computer, including key processes such as error correction, and also has proposed a large-scale architecture. “.

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