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Perovskite-based solar cell boasts high power conversion efficiency

02 Jan 2014

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Researchers at the Institut de Ciència Molecular (ICMol) of the Cientific Parc of the University of Valencia worked with researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland to develop a thin film low-cost photovoltaic device with high power conversion efficiency. The solar cell developed features a thin perovskite film placed in between two very thin organic semiconductors.

Perovskite-based solar cell boasts high power conversion efficiency

Figure 1: The hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite material can be prepared easily and at low cost.

The total thickness of the device is less than half a micrometre, less than a millions' part of a metre. The hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite material can be prepared easily and at low cost. Lead researcher Hendrik Bolink explains that these devices were prepared with low temperature processes similar to those used in the printing industry which allows the use of plastic substrates such that flexible devices can be prepared.

It is also possible to make the device semitransparent, which allows their integration with building facades since they are very thin and light-weight. In this way, the sun light is filtered, protecting the building interior from intense sun light while at the same time generating electricity.

Most of the solar cells that convert sun light into electricity are based on crystalline silicon, en expensive material, whereas the remainder uses polycrystalline thin film cells, mostly cadmium telluride/cadmium sulfide. These thin film cells are cheaper to produce, yet are based on rare and rather toxic elements. Therefore, "the demonstration of high efficiency in thin film solar cells based on abundantly available and cheap materials like as used in these perovskite based solar cells, allows for an increasing share of solar energy in the mix of renewable resources," according to Dr. Bolink.




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