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The NREL scientists pioneered the highly-efficient multi-junction solar cell, which uses layers of semiconductor material to gain extremely high efficiencies in converting sunlight to electricity. Already in wide use in space exploration, including powering the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the scientists hope the multi-junction devices will help meet electrical needs on Earth through the use of lenses and mirrors that concentrate sunlight on the highly-efficient solar cells.
More information is available at www.nrel.gov.