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monday :: november 25, 2002
> solar cell for automotion: service station
full spectrum solar cell
:: unexpected discovery

A single system of alloys incorporating indium, gallium, and nitrogen can convert virtually the full spectrum of sunlight-from the near infrared to the far ultraviolet-to electrical current.

What began as a basic research question points to a practical application of great potential value. For if solar cells can be made with this alloy, they promise to be rugged, relatively inexpensive-and the most efficient ever created. Wladek Walukiewicz and his colleagues (from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Berkeley Lab -, a group at Cornell University headed by William Schaff and a group at Japan's Ritsumeikan University headed by Yasushi Nanishi) were studying not how semiconductors absorb light to create electrical power, but how they use electricity to emit light.

"If it works, the cost should be on the same order of magnitude as traffic lights," Walukiewicz says. "Maybe less." Solar cells so efficient and so relatively cheap could revolutionize the use of solar power not just in space but also on Earth. From *An unexpected discovery could yield a full spectrum solar cell*, november 18, 2002.

related context
energy for greenhouse planet: towards a global energy system. november 13, 2002
> plastic spintronics: from silicon to plastic based computers. october 1, 2002
> nanoparticles used in solar energy conversion. august 9, 2002

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