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Researchers at University of California in Los Angeles have developed solar cells with greater transparency that can be made to fit over windows and generate electric power. The findings from a team of UCLA engineers, materials scientists, and chemists appeared earlier this month in the journal ACS Nano (paid subscription required).

The team developed a solar cell with a near-infrared light-sensitive polymer. The cell produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light. As a result, the cell is 70 percent transparent, and has achieved a power-generating efficiency of four percent.

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