"Around 99% of the power contained in direct sunlight reaching the surface of Earth falls between wavelengths of 250 nm and 2500 nm, but conventional materials for high-efficiency multijunction solar cells cannot capture this entire spectral range," says Matthew Lumb, lead author of the study and a research scientist at George Washington University. "Our new device (Gallium Antimonide GaSb) is able to unlock the energy stored in the long-wavelength photons, which are lost in conventional solar cells, and therefore provides a pathway to realizing the ultimate multijunction solar cell."
Researchers have develped a way to make GaSb solar cells that can capture 44.5% of the suns rays using cncentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cells. The cells optics magnify sunlight onto a microscale solar cell at a concentration ratio of 744 suns. Because of their small size (less than one millimeter square), solar cells utilizing more-sophisticated materials can be developed cost-effectively. Current silicon solar cells as well as Cadmium Telluride can only reach around 24% solar efficiency.
Currently the process to manufacture GaSb solar cells is cost prohibitive, but uses in space where price is not a concern is where you'll most likely see these highly-efficient solar cells.
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Item #L520 - 2" N/Te (100) 420um Double side Polished (DSP)
Item #9761 - 2" N/Te [100-6° towards] ±0.5° 400um Single Side Polished (SSP)
Item #E521 - 2" Undoped (100) 350um Single Side Polished (SSP)
Item #2192 - 2" P/Si (100) 450um Single Side Polished (SSP)
Item #D192 - 2" P/Si (100) 450um Single Side Polished (SSP)
Item #D448 - 2" P/Zn [111B] ±0.5° 450um Single Side Polished (SSP)