Shedding light on solar cells

The first silicon photovoltaic solar cell to surpass the 25% efficiency mark has been made by researchers in Australia. Martin Green and colleagues at the University of New South Wales say they are now close to the 29% theoretical maximum for first-generation photovoltaics. The development relies to some extent on a renewed understanding of sunlight and exploits a wider range of wavelengths and a design that wastes less energy during the trapping and conversion processes.