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Manufacturing and sales of photovoltaic (PV) energy have been growing at rates in excess of 40% for the last several years. Advances in materials research have been the basis for much of this progress - resulting in reduced costs and improved conversion efficiencies and reliabilities for solar systems. This volume features studies from a cross-section of current industry research leaders, new start-up companies, and university and laboratory researchers. It highlights the most significant advances in PV materials and device research, and examines research challenges to reaching the ultimate potential of current-generation (crystalline silicon), next-generation (thin films and concentrators), and future-generation PV technologies. The latter includes innovative materials and device concepts that hold the promise of significantly higher conversion efficiencies and/or much lower costs. Topics include: silicon solar cells and devices; thin-film polycrystalline materials and devices; characterization and new technologies.
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