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Malachite’s Solar Cell 38% Efficient, at Least in Theory

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Malachite Technologies, a solar cell startup company based in San Francisco, California, aims to improve solar cell’s efficiency by coating gallium arsenide on silicon.

Gallium arsenide, a III-V semiconductor that has six times higher electron mobility than silicon, allows a faster operation and lower thermal noise.

Based on Malachite’s calculations, the silicon/gallium-arsenide tandem solar cell converts 38% of solar energy into electricity, which is about 1.5 times greater than that of Si/III-V tandem made by Sunpower (24% efficiency).

However, gallium arsenide is more expensive and brittle than silicon. The processes involved in fabricating silicon/gallium-arsenide tandem solar cell are also expensive. That makes cost reduction as the next challenge for this innovation.

[via CleanTechnica]

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