Windows that can collect solar energy, called photovoltaic windows, are the next frontier in renewable energy technologies, as they have the potential to significantly increase the surface area of buildings suitable for energy generation without impacting their aesthetics—an important aspect in metropolitan areas.

Now researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca are bringing the dream of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy one step closer to reality thanks to high-tech silicon nanoparticles that are embedded into luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs).

These LSCs are the key element of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy when light shines through their surface. The useful frequencies of light are then trapped inside and concentrated to the edges where small solar cells can be put in place to capture the energy.

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