A group of researchers from the Kyoto Institute of Technology recently unveiled a new photovoltaic cell that can capture energy not just from the visible light spectrum, but from infrared and ultraviolet light as well.
The new cell is expected to enhance the efficiency of solar cells, and also make the manufacturing process easier as these are single-junction cells as opposed to the multi-junction cells that are conventionally used.
The new cells have been created by doping a Gallium Nitride, a transparent semiconductor with a wide bandgap with Manganese, which is a 3d transitional metal.
Conventional multi junction cells have a number of layers of varying absorption capabilities to capture the entire incident spectrum of light. In case of the new photovoltaic cells, a single junction does all the job stated above, making the process a lot more efficient.
These cells are currently under development, and it will be a long time before we see any commercial deployment of such cells on a large scale.