Perovskite solar cell reaches record efficiency

solar cell

A team of researchers with Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology and Sungkyunkwan University has developed a new formula for mixing perovskite structures that has led to the team achieving a new record level of efficiency in solar cells made from them. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they came up with the new formula and what it might mean for the future of solar cell technology.

Solar cells have come down significantly in price over the past decade, but not enough to cause most people to rush out and buy them for use as an . For that reason, research goes on—scientists have continued to try to make silicon based cells more efficient, but have begun to run out of ideas. That has led to a search for other materials, one of which are perovskite structures (materials with the same structure as calcium titanium oxide)—they offer good power output from low cost materials and can be used in a simpler processes. Over just the past half decade, scientists have increased the efficiency of cells made using them from just 3.8 percent back in 2009, to the new current record set by the team in Korea of 17.9 percent.

The team reached this new level by blending methylammounium lead bromide with formamidinium lead iodide just right—achieving the high efficiency came about by experimenting with the ratios of the two ingredients. They found that an 85:15 mixture provided the best results. The team also reported that cells made using their mixture could be produced via a printing process, which would hopefully mean even lower production costs.

There are still problems to be addressed of course—perovskite based materials are water soluble which is a serious concern for that will be exposed to the elements. Also, there is the problem of scaling, the cells being tested were just 0.1cm2. And then there is the well known issue of hysteresis, where the material sometimes appears to change when first exposed to sunlight, causing a drop in efficiency. The team in Korea plans to continue their work with perovskite based hoping to overcome these issues and perhaps increase the even more.


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Engineers identify, address cause of persistent solar cell issue

More information: Compositional engineering of perovskite materials for high-performance solar cells, Nature (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14133

Abstract
Of the many materials and methodologies aimed at producing low-cost, efficient photovoltaic cells, inorganic–organic lead halide perovskite materials appear particularly promising for next-generation solar devices owing to their high power conversion efficiency. The highest efficiencies reported for perovskite solar cells so far have been obtained mainly with methylammonium lead halide materials. Here we combine the promising—owing to its comparatively narrow bandgap—but relatively unstable formamidinium lead iodide (FAPbI3) with methylammonium lead bromide (MAPbBr3) as the light-harvesting unit in a bilayer solar-cell architecture13. We investigated phase stability, morphology of the perovskite layer, hysteresis in current–voltage characteristics, and overall performance as a function of chemical composition. Our results show that incorporation of MAPbBr3 into FAPbI3 stabilizes the perovskite phase of FAPbI3 and improves the power conversion efficiency of the solar cell to more than 18 per cent under a standard illumination of 100 milliwatts per square centimetre. These findings further emphasize the versatility and performance potential of inorganic–organic lead halide perovskite materials for photovoltaic applications.

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Jan 08, 2015
Which of the new technologies will put the final nail in coal and nukes?

There is no stopping alternative energy now. Photovoltaic roof shingles will finally be cost-effective. PV skylights are already available.

Jan 08, 2015
Free and clear of GOO......

Jan 08, 2015
The only thing that will stop Photovoltaic is storage & the dark.....

Jan 08, 2015
mind you I am not anti solar , everything has it place (just coal needs to stay in the ground)

Jan 08, 2015
This is a really exciting development! We should develop all infite energy sources as finite coal & natural gas will soon run out.

Jan 08, 2015
hurricane25 remarked, "We should develop all infite (sic) energy sources as finite coal & natural gas will soon run out."

Where do you loiter to absorb such nonsense? Coal is downright plentiful; there are at least a couple of centuries' worth still in the ground. Sweet light crude is at or past peak, but there are huge reserves of natural gas and shale oil.

This is the problem: we already picked the low-hanging fruit. Cheap fossil fuels were skimmed first. Getting at what's still in the ground will be progressively more expensive, so the energy harvest versus energy cost of extraction ratio isn't improving. It's getting worse.

However, we'll keep harvesting fossil fuels, because we can, and it's still profitable. Which means we will be taking more and more carbon out of the ground and pumping it into the atmosphere. Which means climate change.

Unless one of two things happens: governments intervene, or tech delivers cheaper alternatives, which is hard to do.

Jan 08, 2015
It is being done right now.

Jan 08, 2015
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Jan 08, 2015
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Jan 08, 2015
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Jan 09, 2015
Oil supports terrorism.
To keep oil prices cheap to cut off their funding we have to switch to alternative energy sources globally.

Jan 09, 2015
Solar summer concentrated heat stored in earth geothermally works all the year round, 24h/24h and 365/365 days with already working technology coupling solar heat concentration with geothermal storing underground !!
Incredibly this is completely overlooked and could save the world from too much CO2.

It works already for heating :
"47% of global energy is spent on indoor heating" with 47% of CO2 released can be avoided using the working solution at www.dlsc.ca heating with the solar heat in summer kept inside the earth !!!
This is a real working solution since 2007 !!!
This working solar geothermal solution must be used everywhere to save our world by 47% !!!
Actually it works with -24°C at dlsc.ca

Jan 09, 2015
This is a great time in power and energy: We are starting to undo the terrible decisions we made decades ago.

The revolution in technology is going to change the way we think about ourselves and our place in Society, when we can be players on both sides of the energy game. More independent, we are free to make more decisions, just when alternatives are multiplying.

Jan 09, 2015
Just in time to make my point:

http://www.utilit.../350636/

Jan 14, 2015
Wasn't well over 40% the solar cells efficiency record already???

What's this number 17.9% now?????

Jan 30, 2015
Wasn't well over 40% the solar cells efficiency record already???

What's this number 17.9% now?????


Those 40% cells are extremely expensive and the 17.9% ones much more affordable.. So for most people they would be the way to go even though you have to use more. They have to get the life span up though before people will really buy them.

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