The British promise cheap solar panels.  They use perovskite and break records

Researchers have discovered a way to produce extremely efficient solar cells on a commercial scale using a “miracle material” – perovskite. Teams from City University of Hong Kong and Imperial College London have made a discovery that can be crucial to producing renewable energy and achieving zero carbon targets.

Perovskit (chemical formula CaTiO3; calcium titanium dioxide) has long been prized for its remarkable properties, which stand out compared to traditional silicon solar cells. However, until now he has been too unstable to be suitable for commercial use.

“Miracle material” for solar panels

Next-generation photovoltaic cells are expected to be cheaper and much more energy efficient. They will also be light and flexible, enabling new applications, such as coating glass windows with thin layers of transparent solar panels.

Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Utah Zeev Valy Vardeny described perovskite in 2017 on the basis of its unique properties as “Incredible, miraculous material”. At that time, it was thought that the commercialization of this technology would take at least ten years, the current discovery could significantly accelerate everything.

Chemists have succeeded in overcoming the problematic properties of perovskite by using so-called ferrocene (organometallic compound; here specifically FcTc2). They added it as a transition layer between the light-absorbing layer of the solar cell and the electron-transferring layer. The resulting devices achieved an energy conversion efficiency of 25.0%.

“The unique properties of ferrocenes can help overcome the problems with perovskite solar cells,” said Professor Nicholas Long of the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London. Using this breakthrough technique, scientists were the first to create a solar cell that it is able to work at a similar level as silicon cells and at the same time remains stable.

Perovskite solar panels on the horizon

Tests of the new solar cells have shown that they retain 98% of their original efficiency after more than 1,500 hours of continuous lighting. In addition, the device complied with international standards for advanced photovoltaics (IEC61215: 2016) and showed high stability in the wet heat test (85 ° C and 85% relative humidity).

“The most important part of this job is that we have produced successfully highly efficient perovskite solar cells while ensuring promising stability said Zhu Zonglong, who works at the City University of Hong Kong as an assistant professor at the Department of Chemistry.

“Reliable results mean that the commercialization of perovskite is well under way. Our goal is to expand the production of perovskite solar cells using this molecule and a simple method, thus contributing to the global goal of zero carbon emissions. ” he added.

Scientists have published their findings in the article “Organometallically functionalized interfaces for high-efficiency inverted perovskite solar cells” published at the end of last week in the journal Science.

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