Just under two years ago, researchers at Boeing-Spectrolab managed to achieve 40.7% solar cell efficiency. Two years later, scientists at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have demonstrated their nerve by trumpeting an all new world record... one that's 0.1% points better than the last. Yes, your new record now sits at 40.8% -- tremendous progress, wouldn't you say? Looking outside of the numbers, you'll find that these cells differ "significantly" from the prior record holders, which enable them to be thinner, lighter, cheaper and altogether swanker. That's it for now folks -- come back in a couple years, we hear 40.9% is just around the bend.