New solar-cell coating could enable a major boost in efficiency

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Throughout decades of research on solar cells, one formula has been considered an absolute limit to the efficiency of such devices in converting sunlight into electricity: Called the Shockley-Queisser efficiency limit, it posits that the ultimate conversion efficiency can never exceed 34 percent for a single optimized semiconductor junction. Now, researchers have shown that there is a way to blow past that limit as easily as today's jet fighters zoom through the sound barrier -- which was also once seen as an ultimate limit.86C0yHK9RYY