The University of New South Wales’ ARC Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence has created the first silicon solar cell to achieve the milestone of 25 per cent efficiency.

The UNSW ARC Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence already held the world record of 24.7 per cent for silicon solar cell efficiency. Now the team led by Professors Martin Green and Stuart Wenham and widened their lead on the rest of the world.

Professor Green said the jump in performance leading to the milestone resulted from new knowledge about the composition of sunlight. "Improvements in understanding atmospheric effects upon the colour content of sunlight led to a revision of the standard spectrum in April. The new spectrum has a higher energy content both down the blue end of the spectrum and at the opposite red end with, dare I say it, relatively less green." he said.

The new world mark in converting incident sunlight into electricity is one of six world records claimed by UNSW for its silicon solar technologies.