AsianScientist (Apr. 12, 2017) – In a study published in Science, researchers have described a cost-efficient way to produce inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite solar cells (PSCs) that can reach record-breaking efficiencies.
PSCs are made of a mixture of organic molecules and inorganic elements within a single crystalline structure, that together capture light and convert it into electricity. As PSCs can reach a photovoltaic efficiency comparable to silicon solar cells but can be fabricated cheaply and easily, they have attached much attention as next-generation solar cells.
In the present study, a team of researchers led by Professor Seok Sang-Il from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) describe a method of producing PSCs that are both highly efficient and photostable.
Using methaylammonium lead iodide as the perovskite material and lanthanum-doped barium stannate as the electrode, they were able to produce the PSCs under mild conditions of less than 200°C, much lower than the conventional temperature of over 900°C. Furthermore, the new material retains 93 percent of its initial performance after 1,000 hours of exposure to sunlight, showing excellent photostability.
The research team has also proposed a new solar cell manufacturing methodology called the “Hot-Pressing Method.” This method uses temperature and pressure to tightly join two objects, allowing the production of low-cost, high efficiency and stable perovskite solar cells.
“This study combines the newly-synthesized photoelectrode material and the hot-pressing method to lower the manufacturing cost to less than half of the existing silicon solar cells,” said Seok, corresponding author of the paper. “This study helped us realize PSCs with a steady-state power conversion efficiency of 21.2 percent and excellent photostability.”
“This achievement, realized by the unique technology of domestic researchers, has surpassed the conventional low-efficiency and stability limit of next-generation solar cell technology.”
The article can be found at: Shin et al. (2017) Colloidally Prepared La-doped BaSnO3 electrodes for Efficient, Photostable Perovskite Solar Cells.
Source: Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology; Photo: Shutterstock.
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