Silicon solar cells in use today rely on silver, but an Australian startup is showing how cheaper and more abundant copper could offer a more sustainable pathway forward

Although many promising contenders are emerging, crystalline silicon cells dominate the solar industry and account for around 95 percent of all installations. These cells use precious silver to conduct electricity, but Australian outfit SunDrive is developing an alternative that uses more sustainable copper instead. The team's latest round of testing has shown not just how the more abundant metal can serve as a reliable placement, but that it can push the technology into new terrain, achieving a world-record efficiency for commercially-sized silicon solar cells of 25.54 percent.

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Category: Energy, Science

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