Molecules that convert light from one color to another could improve the efficiency of solar cells, provided researchers can find better ways to handle them.
Image courtesy of Yoichi Murakami/Tokyo Tech (2011)
Solar cells work best at creating electricity from specific colors of light, which means that much of the energy falling on a solar cell is wasted. Certain molecules can convert light to colors solar cells can handle, but the liquids in which the molecules are typically dissolved can be troublesome. Alternative liquids that are stable and safe over a wide temperature range could soon solve the problem. This image shows such a liquid containing molecules that convert red light to blue.