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Sharp Develops Solar Cell With World's Highest Conversion Efficiency
Dec 7, 2012
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Sharp Corp. achieved the world's highest solar cell conversion efficiency - 37.7% - using a triple-junction compound solar cell in which three photo-absorption layers are stacked together.

Sharp's development results from a research and development initiative promoted by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Measurement of the value of 37.7%, setting a new record for the world's highest conversion efficiency, was confirmed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

Compound solar cells use photo-absorption layers made from compounds consisting of two or more elements, such as indium and gallium. The basic structure of the latest triple-junction compound solar cell uses proprietary Sharp technology that enables efficient stacking of the three photo-absorption layers, with InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) as the bottom layer.

To achieve its latest increase in conversion efficiency, Sharp capitalized on the ability of the new cell to efficiently absorb light from different wavelengths in sunlight and convert it into electricity. Sharp also increased the active area for converting light into electricity through optimal processing of cell edges.

Sharp's aim for the future is to apply this latest development success to concentrator photovoltaic power systems that use lenses to collect and convert sunlight into electricity.

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