Eli Yablonovitch and graduate student Owen Miller of U.C. Berkeley have designed and built a new type of solar cell that gets closer to the theoretical efficiency limit 33.5%, the Shockley–Queisser limit for cells using a p-n junction, by mimicking the behavior of a light-emitting diode.

Result: 28.6% efficiency using gallium arsenide as a semiconductor and devising a method to do improved photon management. Multi-cell arrays have achieved efficiencies of 43% using combinations of gallium, indium, phosphorus and arsenic.

Quirky solar cell sets new efficiency record by Tushna Commissariat, PhysicsWorld.com