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Full Spectrum Boosts Solar Cell Power

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PASADENA, Calif., Feb. 29, 2012 — Solar cell efficiency, currently hovering in the 15 to 20 percent range, can theoretically be boosted to as high as 70 percent by printing specially engineered nanostructures on the cells, researchers say. It has long been thought that conversion efficiency of solar cells cannot exceed 34 percent for a single material or less than about 45 percent for the most efficient cells. A thermodynamic limit is responsible for this practical limitation. By clever light management, Harry Atwater, applied physicist at California Institute of Technology, and his colleague Albert Polman of the...Read full article

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