The push on green technology has recently resulted in a number of advancements in the field of solar energy. A lot of work is being done to make them more efficient, robust, less intensive, and more cost efficient. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, have found a way to make flexible solar cells with silicon wires.
These solar cells would use a mere 1 percent of the silicon per cell area, as compared to conventional solar wafers. This technology may have application in solar fabrics and the like, but the most important part would be making solar cells cheaper, and less fragile.
Silicon is by far the most commonly used, and as of now, the most efficient material used for mass producing solar cells. Silicon wafers however, are fragile; the new technology bypasses this problem by using organic films in combination with Silicon. This makes the material less fragile, more dependable and cost efficient. Efficiency of such solar cells is likely to be in the range of 15 to 20 percent, similar to contemporary cells used in domestic installations.