The next coat of paint on the exterior of our houses may just generate electricity from the sun. University of Notre Dame's researchers have taken a leap towards this vision by creating 'solar paint'.
The paste, when brushed onto a transparent conducting material and exposed to light, generates electricity. Before we rush out to stores to buy this paint, Prashant Kamat who leads the research says that efficiency of the paint still needs to be improved. Nevertheless, he says that the paint can be made cheaply and mass produced. "The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we've reached so far is one percent, which is well behind the usual 10 to 15 percent efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells," he explains. However, he believes that if efficiency is improved, then the paste can contribute to meeting energy needs of the future.
The team who have created Sun-Believable are planning to improve the stability of the new material. The research is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy´s Office of Basic Energy Sciences.