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Korean researchers develop uber-cheap solar cells

Darren Murph

We'll go ahead and hand it to Spectrolab for crafting such an immensely efficient solar cell without regard to cost, but a team of Korean researchers have reportedly conjured up a rendition of their own that, you know, would actually be feasible to commercialize in the not too distant future. The team -- led by Lee Kwang-hee of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology -- has reportedly created a diminutive plastic solar cell that touts "6.5-percent efficiency," and while that number pales in comparison to other alternatives, it's the pricetag that's of interest here. Apparently, existing solar cells that use silicon semiconductors cost around "$2.30 to generate one watt of electricity," whereas this group's solution costs just ten cents per watt. Better yet, plans are already in motion to increase efficiency up to 15-percent, after which we could see these things hitting the marketplace at large "by 2012."

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