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96% efficient solar panels

By growing arrays of silicon wires in a polymer substrate, researchers have demonstrated what they say are flexible solar cells that absorb up to 96 percent of incident light.

Solar cells based on the technique could potentially be very inexpensive to manufacture since only 2 percent of the materials are expensive semiconductors while the remainder is made from inexpensive plastic.

Atwater said he is now working to increase the operating voltage and size of the solar cells so that they can eventually be manufactured in flexible sheets using inexpensive roll-to-roll fabrication equipment.

Funding for the Caltech research was provided by BP, the U.S. Energy Department, the National Science Foundation and the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech.

Full article here: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=223000119&cid=NL_eet