Nature News reports that a team of scientists at the University of Illinios has developed an alternative method of making light sensitive semicounductors that could eventually lead to solar cells forty percent more efficent than the best available today. It could also be of use in making better night-vision cameras and other light sensitive devices.
Most semiconductors presently use silicon, but gallium arsenide can be twice as effective as silicon in converting solar radiation to electricity. Unfortunately gallium arsenide is expensive to produce and techniques for using it are wasteful. The new method is described as stick and lift and looks like potentially exiting prospect as only a tiny fraction of the amount of gallium arsenide presently used is needed.
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