Homes could soon be powered by cheap energy thanks to the development of technology that allows windows to generate electricity.
Scientists from the University of California (UCLA) published a report in the journal ACS Nano that described how a transparent solar cell can be used to harness the sun's power, the Engineer reports.
The polymer solar cell (PCS) produces energy by absorbing infrared light, which is converted into an electrical current.
Unlike previous PCS prototypes, the new device has been crafted to ensure windows remain transparent when the technology is applied.
This is due to the creation of a conductor made from silver nanowire and titanium-dioxide nanoparticles, which is able to replace the opaque metal electrode used previously.
The report's authors suggest the solar cells can be produced economically and could be used in smart windows or portable electronics.
Gang Li, a member of the research faculty at UCLA Engineering, said: "For us to achieve such success in improving the efficiency in this short time period truly demonstrates the great potential of tandem solar cell technology."
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