Building Materials with Photovoltaic Properties

Solar energy results from the conversion of solar energy into electricity, directly by the photoelectric effect. Solar energy is a renewable energy classified as clean energy or green energy. However, although this type of energy does not produce pollution or environmental impacts, the reuse or recycling of photovoltaic cells, at the end of the life cycle, is not yet implemented. According to Greenpeace, the photovoltaic power could ensure the needs of two thirds of the world population in 2030.

One of the great advantages of solar energy is that the unit cost of power produced is independent of the scale of production. For this reason, the integration of photovoltaic cells in buildings has aroused enormous interest.

The integration of technology at the nanoscale in photovoltaic cells is still under investigation, and one believes that it will increase the low efficiency of such devices while lowering costs. Among various research projects one highlights the incorporation of titanium dioxide nanotubes, quantum dots of lead selenide, or carbon nanotubes/bucky-balls [31].