Solar Frontier, a Japan-based thin-film solar technology company, has reportedly broken the CZTS solar cell efficiency record, in partnership with IBM and TOK. The efficiency record was set on a solar cell 0.42 square centimeters in size.

The new record is 12.6% efficiency. The previous record of 11.1% was held by IBM, Solar Frontier, and partners, so that’s quite a jump.

While the efficiency of these solar cells isn’t yet comparable to that of conventional commercial solar cells (which are generally between 16% and 20% efficiency), it should be noted that CZTS solar cells are composed of quite abundant and inexpensive materials – copper, zinc, tin, sulphur and selenium.

“Solar Frontier is the world’s largest provider of CIS thin-film photovoltaic solutions. Its Atsugi Research Center in Kanagawa, Japan, has also achieved standing world record conversion efficiencies of 17.8% on a 30cm by 30cm CIS submodule and 19.7% for non-cadmium CIS cell. Solar Frontier’s CIS modules, manufactured in Japan, are offered in commercial volumes at up to 13.8% efficiency, the highest of any mass produced thin-film modules,” Solar Frontier adds.

Check out other solar cell, solar module, and solar power plant records on our Solar Energy Facts & Solar Power Facts page.