This one is worth paying attention to: the March 2011 record for solar cell efficiency held by Solar Junction has been broken last month by Sharp. The US-based company has offered the world a triple-junction compound solar cell that gives off 43.5% of the energy it takes in.
Sharp’s technology consists of piling up three photo-absorbing layers in such a way that they render much more electricity than previous iterations, having the bottom layer made of InGaAs (a compound of indium, gallium and arsenide). However, what makes their layers over-productive is the improved space between the surface electrodes of the concentrator cell and a reduction in the cell’s electrical resistance.
Also, it’s no surprise that the country behind all this is Japan, whose New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) started the “R&D on Innovative Solar Cells” project.
Interestingly enough, these high-efficiency solar cells make us feel closer to sky tech, since their technology has first been used on space satellites.
This article is looks like it incorrectly paraphrased another one. Sharp did not break the record, but has matched the confirmed record that Solar Junction had in March of 2011. Note that this has not been published in the “Solar cell efficiency tables” as of version 40 which was published 24 JUL 2012.
The highest submodule efficiency is38.5% +/-1.9% submodule byt DuPont et al. with a plit spectrum system. I think we can see module efficiency at 40% within three years. The work at ASU http://nanophotonics.asu.edu/paper/Caselli_OE2011.pdf combined with the Rainbow Concentrator by Sol Solution
http://www.sol-solution.net/Technology.html is one path that may get us there.