About a year ago, Sharp achieved a new solar cell efficiency record of 43.5% by using a lens-based system to focus sunlight directly onto the cells in order to generate electricity. Now, Sharp has done it again. This time, they’ve created a concentrator triple-junction compound solar cell that offers conversion efficiency of 44.4%…all in a tiny package that’s only 4mm x 4mm!

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According to PhysOrg, “Sharp’s concentrator triple-junction compound solar cells use a proprietary technology that enables the efficient conversion of sunlight into electricity by means of a stack of three photo-absorption layers, the bottommost of which is made from InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide).”

Measurement of the value—which sets a record for the world’s highest concentrating conversion efficiency—was confirmed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Germany, according to a press release from Sharp.

Previously, these types of high-efficiency solar cells have only been used on space satellites, but with each record it breaks, Sharp hopes to be inching toward a time when they can help us sever our ties to fossil fuels here on Earth as well.

via Gizmodo