While solar panels may have been first used in space during a 1958 mission, they still aren’t affordable for the average consumer, ranging from $20,000 – $30,000+ for a full home installation. University of Toronto researchers aim to change that, after developing nanoparticles called colloidal quantum dots that don’t lose their electrons when exposed to air. This means they can be painted or sprayed directly onto surfaces such as roofing shingles. Continue reading for a video and more information.

Inhabitat reports that, “The colloidal quantum dots are able to absorb so much sunlight because the researchers developed a material that keeps the electron-rich n-type semiconductor from turning into the electron-poor p-type semiconductor when exposed to the air. The n-type material makes the solar cells more efficient.”