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News Link • Energy

This Concentrated Solar Cell Could Be Powering Cities 'Within Years'

•, Rob Wile
 The cells are 1.2 percent more efficient than anything on record, and up to three times as efficient as the off-the-shelf variety.

Solar Junction's record-breaking technology was originally developed by Dr. Homan Yuen and his fellow graduate students while they were students at Stanford University in 2007.

The team found a way to stack and arrange a compound called InGaAsNSb using a process borrowed from cell phone and LED lighting industries. The process allows thin layers of the compound to be deposited so that there's little mixing between the layers, resulting in minimal contamination of the materials.
The diagram at right shows the difference that this process makes when used as a part of Solar Junction's technology, compared to the results that others in the field have gotten when they've tried similar methods but failed. The layers in Solar Junction's solar cells are clearly defined, not mixed like in a competing cell.

Right now the company is still too early in its development for a full commercial roll-out to be cost-effective.

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