The research team, led by Ray LaPierre, a professor in the engineering physics department, has three years and $600,000 to try to achieve this goal. If they succeed the nanowires will be more efficient (about 20 % -40% efficiency). This will also allow solar panels to be inexpensive and flexible hopefully making it more affordable for consumers.
The nanowires contain several multiple layers of materials including: gallium arsenide, indium gallium phosphide, aluminum gallium arsenide, and gallium arsenide phosphide. This multilayer of material is what allows the nanowires, which grow upward, to absorb more light than a solar cell . For more information on nanowires visit Technology Review .