Capturing Solar Energy with Quantum Dots

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX team photo
We would like to answer the question: Can quantum dots be used as fluorophores in luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) making them efficient for practical use? The video below goes through the poster which outlines the two components of this project: 1. synthesization of non-toxic quantum dots for use in LSCs along with their spectral data measurements and 2. computational simulation of LSCs using experimental data of quantum dots in order to calculate LSC efficiency.

The project team consists of two undergraduate students and a professor. One is a graduating senior chemistry major (Khoa Tran), and the other is a junior biophysics major (Ricardo Zamora). Dr. Richard Lombardini is an Associate Professor of Physics and PI of project.

EPA P3 Video Presentation

Poster (click to open a full size image): 
Capturing Solar Energy with Quantum Dots poster

We synthesized CuInS quantum dots of varying sizes and measured absorption and emission spectra. The latter data was used in the computational simulation of LSCs, and the LSC efficiency was calculated for each size of dot. We are one step closer in determining whether the energy transfer mechanism of FRET could be utilized between dots of different sizes in order to increase LSC efficiency.