Research by Imperial College, London has shown that solar panel efficiency is improved by studding the light-receiving semiconductor surface with aluminum nanocylinders, similar to the ridges on Lego blocks. The scattered light then travels along a longer path in the semiconductor, absorbing more photons to be converted into current. Although these nanocylinders have been used previously (aluminum was preceded by gold and silver), the light scattering occurred in the near infrared region and visible light was absorbed strongly. Aluminum was found to have absorbed the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, while the visible and near infrared parts of the spectrum were found to be scattered by the aluminum surface. This, the research argued, could bring down the cost significantly and improve the efficiency as aluminum is more abundant and less costly than gold and silver. The research also noted that the increase in current makes thinner film solar panels technically feasible without "compromising power conversion efficiencies, thus reducing material consumption".