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Materials % Typical 
Efficiencies
% Best Lab 
Efficiency
Multijunction Gallium Arsenide (GaAs): Used in Space Program 33 -37 40.7
Monocrystalline Silicon: Wafer from single silicon crystal grown in the form of cylindrical ingot 14 – 17 24.7
Polycrystalline Silicon : Wafer made from cast silicon ingot of many silicon crystals. 11.5 – 14 20.3
Ribbon Silicon: Wafer made by drawing a thin strip from molten silicon mixture. 11-13 17.8%
Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) 8-10 19.9
Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)  8-9.5 16.5
Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) 5-9.5 12.1
Dye-sensitized (Gratzel): Used in photoelectrochemical cells  4-5 11.1

Crystalline silicon cells currently offer thebest ratio of performance to cost. Gallium arsenide cells are more efficient butthe high toxicity and the high cost of materials limit use to spaceapplications. Amorphous silicon, copper indium gallium selenide, and cadmiumtelluride are the competing thin-film technologies Thin-film modules are lessefficient than crystalline silicon and their durability in the field may not beas practical. Photoelectrochemical cells rely on chemical processes to produceelectricity from light, rather than using semiconductors. Engineering problemswill probably delay their introduction to the commercial market for several moreyears.

Sources: : NREL; Photovoltaic Systems; GeorgiaInstitute of Technology

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