Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a coating that increases the efficiency of solar cells by 20%.

The nanoscale coating can be incorporated in the manufacturing process, and mirrors the effect of a whispering gallery. Thousands of tiny coated glass beads placed on solar cells direct the sunlight ‘around the nanoscale bead’ – capturing 20% more of the sun rays than uncoated cells.


“This is an inexpensive process and is compatible with mass production,” said Dongheon Ha of NIST.


An artist’s representation of glass beads of slightly different diameters (denoted by different colors) in the nanoresonator coating. Each bead acts as an optical whispering gallery, or resonator, for a slightly different wavelength of sunlight. Credit: K. Dill, D. Ha/NIST