MIT: New solar cell is more efficient, costs less than its counterparts – new photovoltaic cell harvests more of sun’s energy. 

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A silicon solar cell with silicon-germanium filter using a step-cell design (large) and a gallium arsenide phosphide layer on silicon step-cell proof-of-concept solar cell (small).Photo: Tahra Al Hammadi/Masdar Institute News.

The cost of solar power is beginning to reach price parity with cheaper fossil fuel-based electricity in many parts of the world, yet the clean energy source still accounts for just slightly more than 1 percent of the world’s electricity mix.

Solar, or photovoltaic (PV), cells, which convert sunlight into electrical energy, have a large role to play in boosting solar power generation globally, but researchers still face limitations to scaling up this technology. For example, developing very high-efficiency solar cells that can convert a significant amount of sunlight into usable electrical energy at very low costs remains a significant challenge.

A team of researchers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology may have found a way…

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