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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Beyond Silicon: Cutting the Costs of Solar Power

Beyond Silicon: Cutting the Costs of Solar Power

A new method of fabricating semiconductors from gallium arsenide promises more affordable solar power, improved semiconductor devices. The biggest single barrier to widespread adoption of solar power continues to be the cost of solar cells. University of Illinois materials scientists supported by the DOE Office of Science have scored a breakthrough in this area that could help transform the economics of solar power. They have devised a cost-effective means of fabricating solar photovoltaic cells from an alternative material nearly twice as efficient as today's silicon-based semiconductors in converting sunlight to electricity. Their technique could be especially helpful in easing the economics of large-scale solar deployments by utility companies. In time, it could have application to many of today's countless other semiconductor-based technologies.


U.S. DOE Office of Science

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
April 15, 2011

Associated Sectors:

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