I feel the need to level with you, dear reader, and let you know that much of the technical bits in this article are over my head. But, let me do my best to describe what I think is going on here... Like a standard photovoltaic solar cell, a wafer is coated with a layer of silicon. This is where it gets a bit different, as a thin layer of iron goes on top of the silicon, and carbon nanotubes are grown on top of the iron. Two types of cadmium are coated on the nanotubes, followed by indium tin oxide. Hope that's clear, 'cause there might just be a test at the end of this session. This does not sound like a cheap process at this point, but the advantages are that these cells do not need to be rotated to face the sun. This makes them suitable for use in space, but the article points out that terrestrial use may also be in their future. They hope that with further research and development they can compete with standard flat solar cells.
[Source: What's Next Network]