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Triple-decker solar cell sets new efficiency record

Triple-decker solar cell sets new efficiency record

Engineers at Sharp Corp. recently set a new record for the efficiency of non-concentrating solar cells. They did this by building a three-layer compound cell which had a conversion efficiency of 36.9%. The record was confirmed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

The cell stacks three photo-absorption layers - indium gallium phosphate, gallium arsenide, and indium gallium arsenide - atop a silicon substrate. Each layer absorbs photons with different wavelengths, letting the compound cell convert a wide spectrum of sunlight into electricity.

Two years ago, Sharp set a record of 35.8% with a three-junction cell. The new cell improves on that figure by reducing the resistance of the connections between each layer, thereby boosting the maximum power output.

Resources

Sharp Corp., sharp-world.com

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