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Notre Dame team develops power-generating paint

Updated: January 25, 2012 8:05AM

A team of University of Notre Dame scientists say they’ve developed a “solar paint” that can inexpensively harness the sun’s power.

The “Sun-Believable” paint moves the silicon-based solar power industry into new territory by using nanoparticles that act as semiconductors to turn sunlight into power.

The Notre Dame team — whose findings appear in the journal ACS Nano — created its paint from tiny particles of titanium dioxide coated with one of two cadmium-based substances. That’s mixed with a water-alcohol mixture to create a paste. When the paste is brushed onto a transparent conducting material and exposed to light, it creates electricity.

The paint’s best light-to-energy conversion efficiency is just 1 percent. But its developers are working to boost that.

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