Scientists design solar cell that captures nearly all energy of solar spectrum
A George Washington University researcher helped design and construct a prototype for a new solar cell that integrates multiple cells stacked into a single device capable of capturing nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum.
The new design, which converts direct sunlight to electricity with 44.5 percent efficiency, has the potential to become the most efficient solar cell in the world.
The approach is different from the solar panels commonly seen on rooftops or in fields. The new device uses concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) panels that use lenses to concentrate sunlight onto tiny, micro-scale solar cells. Because of their small size – less than one millimeter square – solar cells that utilize more sophisticated materials can be developed cost effectively.