Sharp again is breaking the world record of solar cell efficiency. It has achieved a 44.4% of conversion rate in its "triple-junction compound semiconductor" lens-based solar cell system. Basically it is a concentrator solar cell with lens on its surface to focuses sunlight.
Does it mean we soon will see this highly efficient solar cell available in the market? NO!
Sharp is achieving this high efficiency using multiple compound semiconductor materials, like InGaP, GaAs and InGaAs, as shown below. Compound semiconductors are expensive comparing to silicon. They are mostly used in space satellites where high conversion rates and good space-efficiency are more important than costs. Sharp is looking to use the technology of compound solar cells in terrestrial applications in the future.