Solar dreams

Published: Tuesday 31 October 1995

The inability to produce cheap and efficient photovoltaic cefls that convert solar energy into electricity has, till now, hamstrung solar power generation, Scientists have -xperi- mented with alternatives to silicon (used for photovoltaics) like organic polymers, which, while being cheaper and easier to process, are not effective enough.

Now 2 groups, working at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at Cambridge University, have succeeded in evolving a new design which could increasethe efficiency of polymer-based solar rells. But hopes of commercial applications are yet premature because the material is unstable in strong light (Science, Vol 269, August 18, 1995).

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