Daniel Porter
Aug 21, 2012

IBM's cheap photoelectric breakthrough

One of the most important technological challenges of our time is monopolizing on solar energy. Major constraints have always been cost, availability of materials, and efficiency. IBM's material science team is banking on CZTS (a compound of copper, zinc, and tin) because of its inexpensive materials. Recently, the team demonstrated record a photovoltaic efficiency of 11.1% for this type of material. The researchers see the technology as a significant step forward in the long journey to use photovoltaics to furnish the world's need for electricity. The research, published in a recent paper, was also released in a blog post on IBM's website: "our CZTS PV cells could potentially yield up to 500 GW/year – getting closer to the Terawatt levels of renewable electricity the planet needs."