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In search of cost-effective techniques for III-V cell production

Scientists in Canada have discovered a promising technique for the production of gallium-arsenide solar cells. Growing these cells directly onto a silicon substrate is a promising strategy that could cut out some of the technology’s exorbitant production costs. And by making that silicon porous, scientists may have taken a step toward producing high-performance III-V solar cells at a significantly lower cost.

Is thin-film best for offshore PV?

Superior hydrodynamic properties, more robustness in high seas and a much reduced logistics requirement support the case for thin-film over crystalline silicon, pontoon-mounted alternatives, according to an Indo-Italian research group.


Solar cells from space are on the way

A team at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory has come up with a new process that would reduce the production cost of highly expensive – and highly efficient – gallium arsenide cells.


Germanium use reduced in GaAs solar cells by new two-step process

Researchers from Canada have unveiled a new germanium deposition process which is said to eliminate threading dislocations and be significantly cheaper than previous approaches. The scientists say their technique creates nanovoids on the surface of the germanium layer which can attract and annihilate undesirable dislocations.

Fraunhofer ISE achieves 34.1% efficiency with triple junction cell

Scientists at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems have broken two of their own records for cell efficiency, working with silicon and III-V material tandem cells. The institute hit 34.1% on a triple junction cell using wafer bonding technology and 24.3% by directly depositing III-V layers onto a silicon solar cell.


German-French scientists develop ultra-thin GaAs solar cell with 19.9% efficiency

The researchers have developed a new manufacturing process by using an ultra-thin absorbing layer made of 205-nanometer-thick gallium arsenide (GaAs) and a nanostructured back mirror.


Another step toward affordable III-V solar cells

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory reports further progress in bringing down the cost of III-V solar cells. Scientists have refined their ‘brand new, 50-year-old’ D-HVPE technology to speed up the production rate for gallium arsenide solar cells by a factor of more than 20. The development is a potential step toward making incredibly efficient solar cells cost effective for everyday purposes.


Nothing can bring down the price of III-V solar cells – just add germanium

A research paper from scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory outlines a new approach to the production of gallium arsenide based cells. The approach, termed ‘germanium on nothing’, could enable the cost effective, high volume production of PV cells based on III-V materials such as gallium arsenide.


Efficiency record isn’t the biggest change for Alta Devices’ GaAS solar technology

Alta Devices’ gallium arsenide solar research cells have been certified with a 29.1% efficiency, setting a new single junction solar cell efficiency record. The most significant change, however, isn’t actually the efficiency; it is that the weight fell 30%, and from the words of Alta Devices, its process has lowered material costs to “essentially nothing”.

Microlink Devices signs deal with NREL to produce lightweight HJT cells

U.S. based semiconductor manufacturer Microlink Devices has signed an exclusive deal with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to commercialize a type of lightweight heterojunction solar cell architecture, which could be utilized in powering satellites and aircraft.


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