A study performed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was to determine new materials for solar panels. The current material used in solar panels, crystalline silicon, is expensive and not easily acquired.
The scientists involved in the study are Cyrus Wadia, who is the lead author, Paul Alivisatos who is the director of the lab, and Daniel Kammen. Kammen is a professor at UC Berkeley and is the director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory.
The scientists studied 23 alternative materials using computer models. Of the 23 materials, 12 were deemed to exist in great enough quantities to meet world annual energy requirements. Iron sulfide and copper sulfide were the two materials which were in great abundance and cost the least. These two materials, according to the scientists, should be able to replace the crystalline silicon.
The scientists hope that discovering and developing new materials for the panels would make panels more readily available to consumers. Not only would panels be more easily accessed, solar energy would begin to comprise a greater percentage of energy. Currently, solar power only amounts to .006 percent of all energy.
The scientists working on the study hope that their findings will spur other laboratories to work on alternative solar power construction and make solar power a more probable solution to energy needs.