Sharp develops 36.9 percent efficient solar cell

The efficiency record was achieved on a triple-junction compound solar cell, in which the solar cell has a stacked three-layer structure.

"Compound solar cells utilize photo-absorption layers made from compounds consisting of two or more elements, such as indium and gallium," explained Sharp in a statement released. "Because of their high conversion efficiency, compound solar cells have been used primarily on space satellites."

The company added that the conversion efficiency was reached by reducing the resistance of the junction areas necessary to connect the solar cell layers in series.

The work was carried out under a research and development initiative promoted by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Sharp could not be reached for further comment.