Wringing more solar electricity from low-cost materials is a major focus for scientists and those who want the world to get away from using fossil fuels for electricity. Researchers at IBM (s IBM) recently announced that they were able to do just that with a new type of compound that uses cheaper ingredients than what goes into some of the solar panels today.

The researchers reported in Advanced Energy Materials that they fabricated solar cells with copper, zinc, tin and sulfur (CZTS) that for the first time could convert 11.1 percent of the sunlight that falls on it into electricity. That’s a 10 percent improvement from the 10.1 percent efficiency IBM achieved last year and published in Progress in Photovoltaics.

The more electricity you can squeeze from the same set of materials, the lower the generation cost. So increasing the efficiency of solar cells is important to lower the price…

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