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September 14, 2015

QESST for solar power to feed an energy hungry world


Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) Center tackles the 'terawatt challenge,' looking for game changers in photovoltaics

Modern society is very much defined by its access to electricity. What if researchers could advance sustainable energy technologies to the point where everyone around the world had access to clean, cheap energy sources? Richard Smalley, 1996 Nobel Prize winning chemist, called it the greatest challenge facing the world in the 21st century and coined the phrase 'terawatt challenge.'

Researchers at the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) Center are hoping to meet much of the terawatt challenge with solar technology alone by vastly improving the performance of photovoltaic cells. QESST is an engineering research center supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy. Nearly a dozen universities participate in the center’s research. The center’s headquarters are at Arizona State University.

The research in this episode is funded by NSF grant #1041895, NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies: QESST at Arizona State University.

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Marsha Walton, Science Nation Producer


Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.