Sharp triple-junction compound solar cell achieves world’s highest conversion efficiency of 37.9%

Sharp today achieved the world’s highest solar cell conversion efficiency of 37.9% using a triple-junction compound solar cell in which three photo-absorption layers are stacked together. Compound solar cells utilize photo-absorption layers made from compounds consisting of two or more elements, such as indium and gallium. The basic structure of this latest triple-junction compound solar cell uses proprietary Sharp technology that enables efficient stacking of the three photo-absorption layers, with InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) as the bottom layer. Measurement of the value of 37.9%, which sets a new record for the world’s highest conversion efficiency, was confirmed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

Triple-Junction Compound Solar Cell
By optimizing the relative proportions of indium, gallium, and arsenide, Sharp succeeded in increasing the efficiency with which the cell absorbs sunlight at its various wavelengths. This improvement enabled Sharp to achieve the world’s highest solar cell conversion efficiency*1 of 37.9%. Sharp’s aim for the future is to apply this latest development success to concentrator photovoltaic power systems that use lenses to collect and convert sunlight into electricity. The company also foresees numerous other practical applications for the cells, such as on space satellites and vehicles.

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