One way of improving the efficiency of solar cells is to subdivide the broad solar spectrum into smaller energy ranges and to convert each range with a cell of appropriately matched bandgap. The most common approach to implementing this idea has been to use a monolithic or mechanical stack of cells arranged in order of increasing bandgap, with the highest bandgap cell uppermost. This provides automatic filtering of incident sunlight so that each cell absorbs and converts the optimal spectral range. The potential of an earlier experimental approach based on steering light in different wavelength bands to non-stacked cells recently has been re-explored with good results. The present work extends this previous work by putting measurements on a more rigorous basis and by improving the 'composite' experimental efficiency of selected cells to beyond 43%, the highest reported to date for any combination of photovoltaic devices. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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