By "reshaping the solar spectrum," a new solar panel coating is able to capture infrared light, otherwise lost, and improve energy output of panels by more than 30%.
“The hybrid material we have come up with first captures two infrared photons that would normally pass right through a solar cell without being converted to electricity, then adds their energies together to make one higher energy photon,” said Christopher Bardeen, a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, where the research is taking place. “This upconverted photon is readily absorbed by photovoltaic cells, generating electricity from light that normally would be wasted.”
Here's an image of light being upconverted from green to violet
The technology is a huge upgrade for solar energy collection and also have promising impacts on biological imaging, data storage and organic light-emitting diode technology (many technologies where light is used) because of the "ability to move light energy from one wavelength to another" and change its color and intensity. The coating was produced by combining inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals with organic molecules.