Today pretty much all solar panels are made up of many silicon solar cells strung together. The problem with silicon cells is that they have a maximum theoretical efficiency of about 29 percent. With the worlds energy needs constantly growing the question becomes, how do we squeeze more energy out of these cells?
Researchers at MIT may have just figured it out. In a conventional silicon solar cell efficiency is based on the fact that each photon of light can only knock loose a single electron. The researchers came up with a method to knock loose two electrons from one photon by using a material called hafnium oxynitride.
Overall testing showed an increase in efficiency from 29 percent to 35 percent. The team believes with more development and refinements it possible to get an even higher efficiency rate. Read the full article to learn more.