The global quantum dot solar cell market size is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period due to surging demand for efficient and environment-friendly sources of energy. Growing demand for the product in the medical sector and solar cell harnessing devices is also expected to drive the market. Upswing in the demand for quantum dot solar cell (QDSC) over the past few years can be attributed to its increased efficiency and higher brightness. However, stringent regulations on use of cadmium and other heavy metals used in manufacturing the product are estimated to act as a restraining factor for the growth of the market.
Increasing expenditure towards research and development activities for producing spray-on solar cells and improved laser and weather satellites is poised to stoke the growth of the market over the forecast period. Quantum dots have a wide tunable range of operations due to their high bandwidth. Owing to this, they are widely used in manufacturing single junction and multi-junction solar cells that are used in bandgap engineering and satellite components. Furthermore, rising emphasis on nanotechnology is projected to benefit the market during the forecast period.
Some of the common product type of QDSC are quantum dot solar cells, quantum dot hybrid solar cells, and quantum dot with nanowire in solar cells. Technological advancements have resulted in production of quantum dot solar cells that exhibit high power conversion efficiency (PCE) coupled with modified band tuning using dipole, density, and orientation of the self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). The demand for such QDSCs is slated to rise over the forecast period. Increasing demand for highly efficient and low-cost quantum dots in hybrid solar cells in various applications is also likely to propel the overall QDSC market.
Quantum dot solar cells are primarily used in the residential and commercial sectors. Increased power conversion ratio coupled with environment-friendly option for electricity generation is boosting the dependence on the product across the residential sector. Furthermore, technological advancements in development have enabled companies to reduce the overall cost of the significantly, which led to an increase in demand from medium to high-income households. It also finds use in heat absorbing films for roof tiles, windows, walls, and heat sensors.
Furthermore, small quantum dot photovoltaics can be used to recharge small batteries, which are used in mobile phones, tablets, and wearable electronic. QDSCs are also being employed in military applications such as off-grid stand-alone PV powered solar cells and radar equipment. They absorb the whole spectrum of light i.e. from ultra-violet to infrared, providing significantly high efficiency than currently used silicon-based technology. As a result, they are widely used for generation of electricity.
Stringent environment regulations regarding power output and significant investments for development of alternate environment-friendly source of energy are leading to surge in the demand for the product in Europe. Increase in the demand for quantum dot solar cells can also be attributed to use of environment-friendly production techniques such as low-cost screen printing and inkjet instead of using rare earth elements such as indium or high-cost silicon, further reducing the price of the product. As a result, Europe is expected to witness high growth in the quantum dot solar cell market over the coming years.
Increasing demand for efficient and environment-friendly source of generation of electricity is anticipated to stimulate the growth of the market in developing countries such as India and China. Increasing government expenditure for research and development activities to harness solar energy in India is estimated to stir up the demand for QDSC in the region.
In North America, advancements in technology are resulting in increase in usage of solar energy devices in the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, widening scope of applications of QSDC such as chromatic windows and heat proof tiles is likely to augur well for the market in the region.
Companies in the market emphasize on joint ventures and product development as a means of consolidating their position in the arena. For instance, in January 2016, Solterra Renewable Technologies, a subsidiary of Quantum Materials Corporation (QMC), entered into a joint venture with Guanghui Technology Group to launch quantum dot solar cells production in China. Apart from this, in August 2014, QMC acquired five patents on QDSC technology from Bayer Technology Services to expand its technology portfolio in production of the product.
Furthermore, in Feb 2015, Natcore Technologies Inc. produced first germanium dot based solar cells, which can be used in space applications. Key market players include Quantum Material Corporation, Natcore Technologies, QDsolar, and Solterra Renewable Technologies.
Research Support Specialist, USA