Researchers at the Los Alamos National Lab may have found a way to take quantum dots and put them in your ordinary windows to turn them into solar collectors.
Photovoltaic cells may be cheaper and more efficient than ever, but you still need to find a place to put them.
Looking to solve these space constraints, Los Alamos partnered with the University of Milano in Italy to see if they could turn windows into electric generators.
As nanocrystals roughly one-billionth of a meter across, - that is as small as 10 atoms wide - quantum dots can absorb light at one wavelength, convert it and re-emit it at another wavelength.
So the dots would absorb sunlight and convert it to a wavelength best suited for the photovoltaic cells, then be guided to the solar cells installed at its edges to electricity.
The University of Milan is responsible for the new industrial method that embeds the dots in a transparent material.
Turning windows into solar collectors is the kind of disruptive technology that could revolutionize energy generation and consumption.
Just think about it, if this technology replaced all the glazing on the One World Trade Center building in New York City, the windows could power more than 350 apartments.