One step closer to cheap solar panels

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Andreas Gucklhorn)

Silicon, an expensive material used to make solar cells and which also dictates the high price of solar panels, fortunately has an incomparably cheaper alternative – perovskite.

However, although great potential is attributed to perovskite when it comes to the production of solar panels in the future, this material has not yet managed to surpass silicon in efficiency and stability.

The problem with perovskite solar cells lies in the fact that, despite their excellent photovoltaic performance, these cells result in very low output energy. On the other hand, the structure of perovskite, which is characterized by excellent performance, is stable only at temperatures above 150 degrees, while at room temperature it loses its characteristics.

In their search for a stable and efficient perovskite structure, researchers at the University of Cambridge used all available methods to see for the first time what a stable perovskite structure really looks like.

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“There was a common consensus that when people stabilize these materials, they become an ideal cubic structure,” said one of the scientists, Tjarnan Doerti. “But what we have shown is that they are not cubic at all, but very slightly distorted. There is a very subtle structural distortion that gives some stability at room temperature. “

The distortion is so small that it was previously undetected, until Doherty and his colleagues used sensitive structural measurement techniques that were not widely applied to perovskite materials, the University of Cambridge said.

In order to bring the perovskite molecules into the newly discovered desired structure, the researchers used organic molecules that served as a template for achieving a small distortion.

Even small parts of perovskite that are not distorted will lead to a loss of performance, said one of the authors, Sam Strenks, and added that this method will ensure that perovskite distortion is uniform everywhere and without exception.

Milena Maglovski

Source: Energetski portal Srbije by

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