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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the different generations of photovoltaic cells and current research directions focusing on their development and manufacturing technologies. The introduction describes the importance of photovoltaics in the context of environmental protection, as well as the elimination of fossil sources. It then focuses on presenting the known generations of photovoltaic cells to date, mainly in terms of the achievable solar-to-electric conversion efficiencies, as well as the technology for their manufacture. In particular, the third generation of photovoltaic cells and recent trends in its field, including multi-junction cells and cells with intermediate energy levels in the forbidden band of silicon, are discussed. We also present the latest developments in photovoltaic cell manufacturing technology, using the fourth-generation graphene-based photovoltaic cells as an example. An extensive review of the world literature led us to the conclusion that, despite the appearance of newer types of photovoltaic cells, silicon cells still have the largest market share, and research into ways to improve their efficiency is still relevant.