One dollar per watt: that's the mark the solar industry is hoping to hit in order to become cost-competitive with conventional energies. In a bid to reach this magic number in the next two years, various Asian manufacturers are striving to reduce costs by increasing volume production. An alternative direction that will benefit the industry in the long term is to target increased efficiencies primarily through new manufacturing processes, new higher-quality materials for metallization and changing the structure of the cell. Nanotechnology companies have developed these new materials and processes that enable manufacturers to both increase quality and lower-cost production, bringing the era of solar grid parity closer than ever before.