The new solar concentrator can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device which has a clear surface.

MSU assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science Richard Lunt said: "We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer itself transparent.

The solar harvesting system makes use of small organic molecules in order to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight.

The material moves the invisible light to the edges of the panel following which the strips of photovoltaic solar cells pick up the light from the panel and transform it to energy.

"Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye," Lunt said.

The technology, which can be scaled to commercial or industrial applications with an affordable cost, can improve its energy-producing efficiency with more efforts on the project.

"It can be used on tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader. Ultimately we want to make solar harvesting surfaces that you do not even know are there," Lunt noted.

Currently, the transparent solar cells’ efficiency is around 1%, which the research team intends to take it beyond 5%.