Paul Leu and his student Sajad Haghanifar, a PhD candidate, developed a new type of glass 1,000 times thinner than a human hair which could potentially used as solar panels for smart windows.
While the solar energy industry is expanding — at an average annual rate of 68 percent from 2006 to 2016, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association — solar panels and solar cells still have an efficiency issue.
Paul Leu said, " Any light that is not being absorbed by your solar cell is decreasing the efficiency of your solar panel," and added “Anything you can do to increase your efficiency is good.”
Leu said that the new glass they developed has advantagous of scattering light energy at different angles, giving the light that does bounce off a better chance to be trapped and converted into useable energy
He added, “With these nanostructures, you can get the reflection rate close to zero.”