Perovskites have emerged as the leading material that can in the due course replace silicon for solar panels. Perovskite offers the potential to manufacture low-cost, ultrathin, lightweight flexible cells at low-temperatures. However, so far, the efficiency of perovskites to convert sunlight into electricity has lagged that of silicon and other alternatives.
Meanwhile, a new approach to design perovskite cells has helped to match, or rather exceed the efficiency of typical silicon cells. In the first phase, the efficiency of perovskite cells is from 20 to 22 percent, which forms the basis for further improvements.
In the new design, researchers added a specially treated conducting tin dioxide layer to perovskite material. This arrangement provides an improved path for charge carriers in the cell, and by altering the perovskite formula, the overall efficiency of perovskite as solar cells increased to 25.2 percent. This is a near record for such materials to surpass the efficiency of several such currently used solar panels. Nonetheless, perovskite still falls behind silicon significantly in terms of longevity – a challenge undertaken by teams worldwide.
The findings of the research is published in a paper in the journal Nature.
In terms of classification, perovskites are a broad group of materials characteristic of a particular kind of lattice. Interestingly, there is a huge number of possible chemical combinations to make perovskites. And, these materials can attracted interest of material scientists across the world, and these materials can be manufactured cheaply than gallium arsenide or silicon, at least on paper, explained one of the research associates. The interest in perovskite materials, in part is because of its much simpler processing and manufacturing operations.