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More efficient, cost-effective and larger scale solar power generation could be on the anvil with the development of 4th generation solar cell technology.

The web journal phys.org has said Professor Ravi Silva of the University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute has identified the range of combinations of organic and inorganic materials that will underpin new 4th generation solar cell technology.

According to the journal, the new 4G solar cells defined by Professor Silva are a hybrid that combine the low cost and flexibility of conducting polymer films (organic materials) with the lifetime stability of novel nanostructures (inorganic materials).

This 'inorganics-in-organics' technology improves the harvesting of solar energy and its conversion into electricity, offering better efficiency than the current 3G solar cells while maintaining their low cost base, the journal said.  In turn, these 3G cells offer significant cost improvements on first and second generation solar cells – based on crystalline and polycrystalline silicon – which are still responsible for over 90% of the solar power being generated today.

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